Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos: Lawsuit

Giant corporation Johnson & Johnson is currently facings thousands of asbestos lawsuits, and for good reason: the company apparently knew its baby powder contained the lethal mineral asbestos for decades and did nothing about it, according to Reuters.

baby powder

Image: [Mike Mozart/Flickr]

An investigative report released on Friday claimed Johnson & Johnson never informed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that three different tests conducted by three different laboratories from 1972-1975 found asbestos in the company’s talc. Johnson & Johnson publicly denied the findings in 1999, when a woman who filed a lawsuit against the company. She alleged the powder caused her to develop mesothelioma.

The Reuters investigation also uncovered that the company’s talc tested positive for asbestos all the way until the 2000s. Court orders prohibited many of the documents from being released to the public, but the recently-revealed reports under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) indicated that J&J talc had “acicular” contaminants in it, dated back to a lab report from the 1950s.

In 1971, a J&J executive told the company’s senior staff that its talc products contained asbestos and recommended the company “upgrade quality control,” according to The New York Times.  A few years later, another J&J executive warned that company should never assume talc mines are asbestos-free and the company’s talc product ingredients “might be classified as asbestos fiber.”

Yet, instead of taking measures to prevent risks of consumers developing toxic illness, the company hid the findings, at least according the reports.

When J&J heard about the Reuters report, they snapped back, accusing the outlet of being one-sided and defamatory.

“The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. ” Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free. Studies of more than 100,000 men and women show that talc does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease.”

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), some forms of talc in its natural form does indeed contain traces of asbestos. Whether talcum powder causes life-threatening diseases such as mesothelioma depends on the form of talc used in products.

Not every form of talc contains asbestos. The asbestos-contaminated talc tends to be from tremolite or anthophyllite. However, studies show that even the asbestos-free forms of talc can cause other types of cancers, such as ovarian cancer and lung cancer.

The talc that contains asbestos greatly depends on where it’s located. Numerous companies have gotten talc from mines contaminated with asbestos in areas such as Alabama, Vermont, and North Carolina.

Several people who developed mesothelioma and other forms of cancer have successfully sued J&J, resulting in millions of dollars lost by the company and gained by the victim.

For instance, in May 2018, a jury is Los Angeles sided with victim Joanne Anderson, who used Johnson’s Baby Powder for years, resulting in a mesothelioma diagnosis. Anderson won the suit and won $21.7 million in the process. Just one month prior, the company lost another lawsuit after another victim sued in an asbestos-related talcum powder suit, winning a whopping $117 million.

Shortly after Reuters released its investigative report, J&J’s stock fell by 10%, which took out “close to $40 billion of its market value,” according to CNN.

Further, the report indicated that J&J demanded government regulators to block information to the public regarding the dangers of asbestos.

“The documents also depict successful efforts to influence U.S. regulators’ plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc,” the report read.

The company convinced one official at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to never release the findings, to which the official agreed, and said the findings would only be released “over my dead body.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regardless of how small the amount, there is no safe level of asbestos. Although people are more likely to develop life-threatening illness after exposure to large amounts of asbestos, the risk still remains that people are in danger if when in contact with small traces of the mineral.

Around 11,700 plaintiffs have sued the company so far. Not only is the company at risk of losing millions upon millions, but its reputation has reportedly plummeted, and one of the most popular household names in and longest-standing products, J&J Baby Powder, is deemed dangerous.

The research continues to develop. Check back with MLC for additional updates.

Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancer, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more.  For additional assistance, contact us 800-793-4540.

Neighbors fight back after company leaves ‘clouds of asbestos dust’ behind during demolition project: Report

A Massachusetts resident, concerned for his health after breathing in clouds of dust following a demolition project in his neighborhood, was one of many people who complained after a demolition company did a “shoddy” job at containing and removing asbestos.

asbestos caution sign

The Lowell Sun reports that resident David Norton became concerned after a demolition company tore down a home off of Muse Avenue in Wilmington, leaving behind a flurry of asbestos dust from home siding permeating throughout the air. Worried that his health was at risk and discontented with how the project was handled, he aired his complaints to the state and to the media.

“If you look out my backyard, I’m looking at an excavator and a machine where the house got torn down,” Norton told the outlet last year. “When you tear down half a building and push all the asbestos into the center of the building as you’re tearing it down, all the asbestos just goes up in the air.”

The company, Langone Development Group, Inc., began tearing down the home last August after receiving a demolition permit from the town of Wilmington. Within the same day, however, the project halted after numerous residents complained to the Department of Environmental Protection.

“We shut the job down at that point and then required them to come up with a plan to remediate the asbestos that remained in the structure as well as take care of the material from the demolition,” MassDEP spokesperson Ed Coletta said in 2017.

Selectman Mike McCoy drove by the site last year and after looking over it, called it a “crime scene.”

“We need to make people accountable so it does not happen again,” another Selectman, Ed Loud said.

In November 2018, the investigation concluded after the state agreed to a settled fine against the company of $125,000. The amount is in addition to a $4,200 fine that Wilmington’s health director, Shelly Newhouse, had already issued to Langone Inc.

“I think this is absolutely fair,” Norton said. “I’m very happy that someone did something. Maybe he’ll think twice before he does it again.”

Newhouse, however, stated she was “disappointed” that it had to happen in the first place, but feels the punishment is justifiable.

According to Attorney General Maura Healey, who handled the case, the company violated North Carolina’s clean air law and solid waste law. Not only did the company illegally dump construction remains in a deep ditch on the property, but also left behind “visible dust cloud of asbestos in the air,” according to the Lowell Sun.

A bigger concern lies with potential asbestos exposure that can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Since asbestos fibers are microscopic, colorless, and odorless, residents were unable to tell if they actually ingested or inhaled the fibers.

Once asbestos fibers are ingested, the body doesn’t have the ability to expel them all, especially if these fibers were inhaled/ingested in abundance. The fibers stick to the linings of major organs in the body and over time, can turn cancerous. It generally takes anywhere from 25 to 50 years for the illness to manifest, meaning people exposed to asbestos can go decades without realizing they could be developing cancer.

If you think you’ve come into contact with asbestos, contact a physician immediately. If caught early enough, chances of successful treatment are more favorable.

For additional information on asbestos exposure and the most common ways people are exposed, refer to our article, Asbestos Exposure.

Additional Information and Resources

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, keep in mind that you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our online form today to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional questions, contact us at 800-793-4540. 

Department of Justice scrutinizes asbestos trust funds, calls for more transparency so victims get rightful compensation

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is calling for asbestos trust funds handlers to provide more accountability and transparency after reportedly learning of alleged fraud and mismanagement inside asbestos trusts.

personal injury stock photo

What is an Asbestos Trust Fund?

Asbestos trust funds are a way for victims to asbestos-related diseases to receive compensation without the hassle of going to trial. Almost all victims who receive compensation through a trust fund were exposed to asbestos at a work site that used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in occupational settings.

Companies unable to handle the mounting lawsuits have the option to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which, if approved, will offer protection from lawsuits. In turn, a judge may require the company to fund an asbestos trust with enough money to cover pending and future lawsuits. A trustee is assigned to manage asbestos trust funds and decides how much compensation each victim gets.

It seems like an ideal situation to ensure that qualified victims get rightfully compensation. Yet, according to Peter Knudsen, spokesman for American Association for Justice, there are companies claiming that there may be people who aren’t qualified for trust fund compensation engaging in fraud. It’s something Knudsen said he found “ironic.”

“There is incredible irony in the fact that an industry that covered up the dangers of a known carcinogen for decades, leading to the ongoing deaths of 15,000 Americans a year, is now claiming that its victims are committing systemic fraud against the trusts — even though no court has ever found evidence of such fraud,” Knudsen said, according to The New York Times.

Regardless, the claims caught the attention of the DOJ. The agency stepped in to ensure the process of creating new trusts and the screening process was going as smoothly as possible. DOJ got involved shortly after another company associated with asbestos, Kaiser Gypsum Company, filed for bankruptcy at the  U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

Possible Fraudulent Claims

In a September statement, the DOJ indicated that asbestos-related victims should be able to “feel certain” they’ll receive the money they’re rightfully entitled to. Yet, isolated incidents could be hindering true victims.

“In recent years, alarming evidence has emerged of fraud and mismanagement inside asbestos trusts,” Principal deputy associate attorney general at the DOJ, Jesse Panuccio, said. “Asbestos victims should feel certain that they will receive compensation when they are promised, but fraudulent claims and mismanagement call that promise into question.”

The DOJ claimed that new trust creations “lacked critical details” on how it can be guarded against fraudulent activities. The department said it would object to any trust that failed to provide details on how much effort is put into preventing fraud, as well as “how asbestos claims will be evaluated, paid and reported.”

“The Department sends a clear message that we will not tolerate fraudulent conduct that cheats asbestos victims and the United States,” Panuccio added. “This is just one action the Department will take to increase transparency and accountability of asbestos trusts.”

DOJ challenged corporation Duro Dyne, stating that the company’s lawyer was “too conflicted” to represent victims who may file for compensation. Another trust, DII Industries, received an administrative subpoena that required them to produce settlement record and prove that Medicare was being properly reimbursed in regards to trust payments.

This isn’t the first time accusations of asbestos trust funds mismanagement has arisen. In 2014, a judge indicated that a “startling pattern of misrepresentation” occurred with a trust fund for a company that made gaskets filled with asbestos. The judge said that some reported victims and their lawyers first struck enormous settlement agreements with the company then after it filed for bankruptcy, also filed claims to get compensation from the trust.

Meanwhile, during a Statement of Interest, Panuccio made it clear that no form of fraud will be tolerated going forwared.

“The Department sends a clear message that we will not tolerate fraudulent conduct that cheats asbestos victims and the United States. This is just one action the Department will take to increase transparency and accountability of asbestos trusts.”

Help for Victims

If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more. If you need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.

New study shows one-third of schools in the U.S. still contain asbestos

A  comprehensive study regarding asbestos and schools has found that around one-third of the schools in the United States contains asbestos.

school classroom

The Los Angeles Times reports that the study came from the staff of senator Edward J Markey of Massachusetts. Marquis, of the Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight, investigation into the schools across the nation to ascertain which buildings contain the harmful materials and what actions need to be taken to ensure children are safe.

Although federal law requires all schools to comply with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA), there have been instances in which children have been allegedly put into danger, and reportedly at the hands of those in charge of maintaining a safe and hazardous-free school environment.

For example, according to Manhattan Beach superintendent Michael Matthews, carpet was supposed to be installed on tile in a school that has asbestos. The carpet was to be used as a preventative measure so that potential asbestos exposure to be avoided. Yet, the contractors at the school ended up disrupting asbestos in the process, according the Daily Breeze, resulting in 27 violations.

Several of the school’s rooms were shut down after asbestos fibers were released. Asbestos fibers are odorless, microscopic, and impossible to detect with the human eye. Airborne asbestos fibers can be easily ingested/inhaled, then lodged within the body. Over time, the fibers attach the linings of major organs, which can lead to toxic illnesses.

“Since then, the district has worked closely with regulatory agencies and will continue to do so cooperatively until all concerns have been resolved,” Matthews later wrote in a statement. “To that end, we have brought on qualified environmental experts to assist with assessing the area and remediation efforts.”

Further, three schools in the Ocean View School District in California have been closed down because of asbestos concerns and issues. Over 1,000 students were transferred out of their schools, which ended up costing the district around $18 million.

Were the children harmed before they were uprooted from their school? In many instance, it’s impossible to tell if people have been affected by asbestos immediately. Typically, diseases that are a result of asbestos exposure can take anywhere from 30 to 50 years to surface.

Some of the key findings in the study include:

  • States may not be monitoring and addressing asbestos issues and concerns in schools as outlined in the AHERA.
  • There have been very few instances in which school districts are being held accountable for violating AHERA.
  • States are not reporting the record-keeping activity required, which shows each school district’s adherence to AHERA.
  • States are not sharing information with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The study indicated that new rules need be implemented and acts need to be amended to ensure that children are safe.

“The public deserves access to information about where asbestos can be found in products, school buildings, and elsewhere to empower the public to avoid preventable asbestos exposures,” the study reads. “The Asbestos Information Act of 1988, which required a one-time publication of asbestos-containing products, needs to be amended to provide consumers with access to current information about asbestos-containing products.”

AHERA must also be strengthened to require the EPA to evaluate states’ AHERA programs every ten years; require the states to communicate information to the EPA on their progress with implementation; and increase funds available for AHERA enforcement. Continued research and outreach is needed to improve public awareness of the danger of asbestos exposure.”

Numerous industries have already banned the use of asbestos in completely after learning of its health hazards. Yet, many of the nation’s schools still contain the harmful mineral, which can result in life-threatening diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and asbestos-related lung cancer. And if states and schools aren’t following the required procedures and rules of AHERA, more and more children could be at risk.

The study suggests that around 34% of students in the United States have been subjected to possible asbestos exposure.

Despite numerous others studies that have proven asbestos is toxic and lethal to humans, it still remains legal in the U.S. The EPA attempted to ban the hazardous mineral years ago. In 1991, however, technicalities resulted in the court overturning the ban.

In 2016, the Toxic substances Control Act was overhauled by Congress. It was an attempt to make asbestos (among other hazardous and toxic substances) illegal in the U.S. To date, however, this has not happened.

If your child attends the school that contains asbestos, it’s important to understand the right you have his parents under the AHERA act. You have a legal right to request the school district’s maintenance records, plans, and and what her active actions the school is taking to ensure the children are safe from asbestos exposure. You also have the right to receive annual notifications in regards to the school’s yearly plans to contain asbestos and keep children safe.

For more information, refer to our article, Parents Rights Regarding Asbestos in Schools.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional help, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Another mesothelioma lawsuit victory: Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7B to asbestos victims

More families were victorious earlier this month when 22 women and their loved ones won a mesothelioma lawsuit against giant company Johnson & Johnson after it failed to warn its customers that its talc products could cause life-threatening illnesses, such as malignant mesothelioma.

baby powder

According to the Associated Press (AP), a jury at the St. Louis Circuit Court in Missouri not only awarded the plaintiffs $500 million in compensatory damages, but also punitive damages of $4.14 billion. The verdict was handed down on July 12.

Carol Goodrich, the company’s spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, continues to defend the company, stating that Johnson & Johnson’s products do not contain dangerous asbestos.

“Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies. Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed.”

The jury disagreed. Several medical experts testified that asbestos is indeed “intermingled” with talc. Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products’ primary ingredient is talc. Further, the plaintiffs’ asbestos lawyers testified that medical records showed that asbestos fibers were found in many of the plaintiff’s ovarian tissues.

“We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer,” one of the plaintiff’s lawyer’s said. “The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease.”

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, one of the plaintiff’s said that although there have been previous cases against Johnson & Johnson, this was the first case where jurors were provided documentation that proved the company knew the products contained asbestos, yet decided against warning its consumers.

Related Reading: Mesothelioma victims win $25M lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral,  but it’s been proven to cause fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer. Yet, the company continues to deny that any of its products can cause cancer, despite over 9,000 women filing lawsuits after developing ovarian cancer.

Of the 22 plaintiffs, six of them have since passed away from ovarian cancer. Their families will receive the compensation on their behalf.

One of the plaintiffs and victims of cancer,  73-year-old Gail Ingham of O’Fallon, Missouri, Ingham, used baby powder for decades. She became a part of the lawsuit because she feels any person who uses Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder should be aware of the dangers.

[They] need to know what’s in there. They need to know what’s going on. Women need to know because they’re putting it on their babies.”

Another plaintiff, Toni Roberts, of Virginia, said she felt like “justice has been served,” while plaintiff Cecilia Martinez, of Dallas, hopes that the company “make changes to protect mothers and babies.”

One of the jurors said that the jury decided on the high compensation amount against the company in order to send a clear message.

We were just trying to find something they would feel.”

Johnson & Johnson earned around $70 million from its Baby Powder product within the last year alone. The jury multiplied the $70 by the 43 years the company has been claiming to not know their product contained cancer-causing ingredients.

There has been no indication as to whether the company plans to continue selling its talc products, although one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers said that Johnson & Johnson “should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease.”

The cases against Johnson & Johnson continue to develop. Please check back with Mesothelioma Lawyer Center for additional

Additional Information and Resources for Mesothelioma and Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one were diagnosed have been mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancer, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more. For additional questions or comments, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Mesothelioma victims win $25M lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson

Last Tuesday, a Los Angeles jury found Johnson & Johnson and several other companies liable of causing an Oregon woman’s development of mesothelioma. The company was hit with a $25.75 million verdict after the jury found the business negligent about warning warn consumers about possible health risks from its powder.

baby powder

WJLA reports that Gary Anderson and Joanne Anderson filed an asbestos lawsuit lawsuit against the companies after Joanne developed pleural mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson”Baby Powder.” After reviewing the overwhelming evidence against the company, the jury returned a $21.75 million in compensatory damage amount last Tuesday, then tacked onadditional $4 million for punitive damages.

Joanne, of Oregon, said that as a bowler, she used the company’s powder in her bowling shoes and on her hands for numerous years without any thoughts it would one day cause cancer, as the company never warned its consumers of the possibility. She also used the powder for her children’s diaper rash when they were babies. Experts who testified in court estimated that Joanne likely used the powder more than 10,000 times.

After diagnosing Joanne with pleural mesothelioma, her physicians explained that it was likely caused by asbestos fibers sticking to the lining of her lungs. Johnson & Johnson unsuccessfully argued that there is no asbestos in its talc products.

Johnson & Johan was found responsible for liable 2/3 of the compensatory damages and 100% in punitive damages. The other businesses listed in the lawsuit included Fel-Pro, Borg Warner, and Honeywell.

“We are extremely pleased that our clients have found a measure of justice, although nothing can truly compensate them for what they have lost. Our clients are hopeful that this verdict can further bring light to this unbelievable example of corporate misconduct,” Joanne’s mesothelioma lawyer said.

Johnson & Johnson, however, disagrees. They released a public statement shortly after the verdict, announcing they will continue to fight anyone who files a lawsuit against them for asbestos-related cases.

“We are disappointed with the verdict and we will begin the appeals process. We will continue to defend the safety of our product because it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma. Over the past 50 years, multiple independent, non-litigation driven scientific evaluations have been conducted by respected academic institutions and government bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and none have found that the talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder contains asbestos.”

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. 

If you need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.

Mesothelioma patients and depression: How to fight the blues during and after chemotherapy

Did you know that having cancer, including mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related cancer, can have a negative impact on your emotional health as well as your physical health? Although studies confirmed some people do experience emotional turmoil, there are number of options to help reduce the symptoms.

elderly man being comforted

A recent study by the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found patients of mesothelioma don’t just experience damage to their physical health, but also to their mental and emotional health. When mesothelioma is diagnosed, common reactions in both patients and family include, but are not limited to, shock, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, difficulty with concentration, anger and heightened social issues.

According to a publication entitled, “Insomnia, Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life of Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy,” written by the Rutgers University College of Nursing, certain treatments for mesothelioma, such as chemotherapy, can also cause some mental health issues, though they’re usually temporary. Examples of this are chemo brain (brain fog caused by chemotherapy), anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and concentration issues.

If you are experiencing or are concerned about any of these symptoms, especially during or after chemotherapy, tell your mesothelioma doctor about them. Your doctor can have you determine whether or not these symptoms are side effects of chemotherapy or stress, and can help you set up a plan to recover from diminished mental health. The following are some of the common symptoms of depression and association conditions.

Signs of Clinical Depression

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feelings of helplessness and worthlessness
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Digestion issues
  • Suicidal thoughts and/or suicidal attempts
  • Angry outburts
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyable
  • Issues with thinking, concentrating, and making decisions

Ways to Fight Depression

One of the first ways to start the coping process of depression is telling a loved one about your feelings. Keep in mind that it’s OK to feel emotional turmoil during difficult times, and a loved one may be able to help you cope while you seek out help from your physician.

If you are supporting your loved one through depression and anxiety from mesothelioma, you can encourage them by asking them to be open about their feelings and about your feelings, too, but not forcing them to talk if they’re not ready. You can also help them setting up medical appointments, providing transportation to medical appointments and treatments, and reassuring them that their mental state may improve after proper treatment has been given.

Medications

Your physician may prescribe you medication, depending on how severe your symptoms are. The type of medication will depend on how well you respond to each type. You may need to try several different types of medications before you find the right fit. According to Mayo Clinic, each type of anti-depressant medications comes with side effects and some types of medicines will create harsher side effects on one person, whereas another person may have few, if any. The most common types of medications for depression include:

  • SSRIs
  • SNRIs
  • Atypical antidepressants
  • MAOIs
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Physical Activity

Although physical activity may seem like the last thing on your mind while going through chemotherapy, it has proven benefits in lessening depression symptoms. According to Harvard Health, exercise releases ” “feel-good chemicals” within the body, known as endorphins, which in turn can help battle the blues.

However, it’s crucial that you speak with your doctor before starting any form of exercise. This is especially true for mesothelioma patients or other patients with any type of cancer undergoing treatment.

Maintain a Good Diet

Psychology Today reports that the food you eat can play a role in battling depression. Aiming for food that promote good “gut health” is especially important, while eliminating certain foods that can increase the symptoms of depression. While you should aim for eating a diet with green leafy vegetables, fruit, and lean protein, consider avoiding the following.

  • Any drink or food with aspartame (artificial sweeteners), which has been linked to depression
  • Caffeine and alcohol
  • Processed foods

Additional Help and Resources for Mesothelioma Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.

New gadget helps determine if asbestos is present in insulation

The United States Geology Survey (USGS) scientists found a way to test vermiculite insulation with a handy hand-held gadget that has proven to be invaluable when searching for dangerous asbestos in buildings and homes’ attics.

asbestos up close

USGS reports that the new tool, a hand-held spectrometer, will save time and resources for asbestos building inspectors who must send samples of the insulation for inspection to off-site laboratories. The innovative spectrometer allows inspectors a more reliable and easier way to determine if asbestos is present.

“The goal of this USGS study was to find an onsite way to test for asbestos by determining if near-infrared reflectance measurements, using portable spectrometers, could be used to reliably identify the source of vermiculite ore and therefore its potential to contain asbestos,” author Gregg Swayze of USGS. “We achieved this goal.”

The spectrometer can analyze the insulation for asbestos while in the attic of a building, without the need to pull samples and ship them off for testing. Further, a report can then be generated on-site and given to the owner immediately.

The tool can also be used for major home restoration projects. Homes built prior to the mid 1980s should always be tested for asbestos. When asbestos is disturbed during a restoration project, microscopic and odorless asbestos fibers become airborne, and people can easily and ingest or inhale them. When asbestos fibers become stuck in the body, dangerous illnesses can develop.

Although buildings are no longer constructed using vermiculite insulation, USGS reports that around a million homes that were built when asbestos was heavily used still contain the insulation. Vermiculite on its own is considered safe. However, the majority of vermiculate used in the United States hail from Libby, Montana, where it was commercially produced into vermiculite insulation and mixed with traces of amphibole asbestos.

Amphibole asbestos is dangerous to human health and can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as malignant mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung disease, and asbestosis.

“Based on medical studies, there is general agreement that all Libby vermiculite insulation is potentially hazardous,” Swayze continued. “This study demonstrates that spectrally determining the source of attic vermiculite as Libby, provides enough information to make a remediation decision.”

As MLC previously reported, Libby is one of the most notorious asbestos contamination sites in the history of the United States. Libby, a tiny town in Lincoln County, Montana, had vermiculite mining operation for numerous years. Starting from 1919 to 1990, the Libby mine manufactured contaminated asbestos vermiculite that was then shipped throughout the country to be used as insulation in buildings and homes.

Asbestos from the Libby mine was friable, which made it physically harmful. The residents of Libby, along with masses of people across the country, suffered severe adverse health effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still cleaning up the destructive area and the company that ran the site, W.R. Grace, continues to pays who became ill from asbestos exposure.

When the dangers of vermiculite asbestos in Libby were found out, over a thousand asbestos lawsuits were filed against W.R. Grace. The lawsuits came from all types of  people, including local residents, employees, and family members who argued the company knew about the risks involved, yet never workers or provide safety equipment or training.

In 2011, a  judge awarded a total of 1,300 plaintiffs a $43 million settlement amount, which came about around 10 yers after they filed the lawsuit jointly as a group. In 2017, another judge awarded $25 million in a settlement amount jointly  for a group of over 1,000 plaintiffs.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved have mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. We invite you to fill out our form today for a free Financial Compensation Packet, filled with information about top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file an asbestos trust fund claim, and much more. For additional help, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

Hero ferry worker who saved lives during 9/11 dies from cancer

A man hailed a hero after he turned a ferry boat around to save people and bring in resources in NYC on September 11, 2001, has died from cancer, reportedly due to toxic exposure from Ground Zero.

9/11 aftermath

New York ferry captain Tom Phelan, one of the numerous heroes that helped save lives in NYC in 2001, died earlier this month at the age of 45. According to CNN, Phelan was employed at the Circle Line Statue of Liberty ferry cruises in 2001 when the tragic incident occurred. Phelan was on duty when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan, but he quickly sprang into action, transporting hundreds of people from the toxic area to safety.

“He brought supplies, rescue workers & was a huge part of the operation,” NYC Fire Wire Facebook page wrote.

New York Daily News reports that Phelan passed away from cancer, likely brought about by inhaling and ingesting toxic fumes during 9/11.

According to Newsweek, an estimated 400,000 people who survived the 9/11 tragedy are now living with and fighting deadly diseases, including mesothelioma, a life-threatening illness typically brought about through the inhalation and/or ingestion of asbestos. The World Trade Center was built in the 1970s, during a time in which construction workers heavily replied upon asbestos use in materials for its affordability and ease of use.

Jeff Phalen

Jeff Phalen [Photo Credit: Facebook]

When the towers were attacked, numerous toxic substances permeated throughout Ground Zero, including asbestos. Asbestos fibers are microscopic, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to determine how much of the toxic fibers were ingested or inhaled. Asbestos exposure not only potentially leads to mesothelioma, but it can also cause asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.

“The diseases stemming from the World Trade Center attacks include almost all lung diseases, almost all cancers—such as issues of the upper airways, gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, panic and adjustment disorders,” Dr. David Prezant, co-director for the the City of New York’s World Trade Center Fire Department  Medical Monitoring Program, stated.

In addition to asbestos-related illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked around 70 types of cancers to toxic substance exposure during 9/11. It’s still unclear what type of cancer Phelan passed away from.

According to the World Trade Center Health Registry director, Mark Farfel, a number of people living with cancerous diseases today didn’t connect their health issues with 9/11. However, a federal fund was set up to compensate those who suffer from illnesses brought about by 9/11. The compensation fund, known as the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act, was signed by former President Barrack Obama in 2011.

Another fund, the  September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, was also created to help to allow people to file claims for economic loss due to death or illness during 9/11. Visit the official NYC 9/11 Health page for additional information by clicking here.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.

New bill pushes to keep asbestos out of children’s makeup

Earlier this month, legislation got involved in a bid to place warning labels on all children’s makeup that contains asbestos, a law that currently isn’t in place in the U.S.

makeup kit

ABC reports that U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell introduced the new bill, after a 2017 investigation that determined a number of children’s makeup kits sold at Claire’s shops contained asbestos. The investigation began after a mother in  Rhode Island became interested in the ingredients inside the makeup her little girl was putting on her face. Working with an independent lab, the mother learned that at least 17 makeup kids sold by Claire’s contained the dangerous tremolite asbestos.

Representatives for Claire’s denied the accusations and stated that during its own independent lab testing, no asbestos was found. Regardless, the accusation was enough to spark the new bill and resulted in the store quickly pulling the following makeup kits off its shelves.

  • Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup Set
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Set
  • Mint Glitter Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Make Up Set
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss
  • Ultimate Mega Make Up Set

“Parents across the country should have the peace of mind in knowing that the cosmetics they buy for their children are safe,” Dingell said during a press release. “No child should be exposed to asbestos through the use of common, everyday products.”

That is why I introduced the Children’s Product Warning Label Act of 2018, which would require all cosmetics marketed to children to contain a warning label that the product may contain asbestos unless the manufacturer can prove otherwise to the FDA.”

Prior to Claire’s, another chain store, Justice, that sells children’s items, recalled a similar item after a television station in North Carolina accused the store of selling a product that contained asbestos. “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” was said to have contained talc filled with asbestos. The product also reportedly numerous other heavy metals.

There is currently no federal law in place that requires companies to test its cosmetics for asbestos. Earlier this month, Dingell said the FDA should have much more authority over decisions concerning harmful ingredients that go into children’s makeup. She indicated that if the bill doesn’t pass, consumers should become more proactive.

“But if Congress is unwilling to consider this approach, we should start taking common sense steps to protect our children by passing my legislation to ensure consumers have all the facts about the products they purchase. Congress must make this a priority in 2018.”

The issue doesn’t lie with just children’s makeup. There have been numerous talc-related lawsuit in recent years against giant companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson. Many talc-related products often have asbestos mixed in them. Further, in 2015, several stores, including  Toys “R” Us and Party City were selling children’s crayons that contained asbestos.

Additional Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.

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