Although most people associate mesothelioma with asbestos exposure while at work during a time in which the deadly mineral was used excessively, research indicates that people who used talcum-containing products, including baby powder, may be at risk of developing an asbestos-related illness as well.
The main ingredient of baby powder, talc, is used for numerous purposes, including not only making powder, but also soaps, ceramics, electronics, and much more. Talc alone is generally considered harmless, but some talc is contaminated with a form of asbestos known as tremolite, which has been linked to the most dangerous types of the mineral.
Not only are talc and tremolite are transformed by heat, but they are both also forms of magnesium silicate. Consequently, they are often both found close together in natural mines and sources. In the past, when mining for talc, most people didn’t notice tremolite may have been combined in the talc. Asbestos-contaminated talc occurred and still occurs quite often, as the two are located so close together in talc mines.
Today, fortunately, the majority of mined talc goes through a strict inspection for asbestos. Yet, those who used talc-containing products, including those who used baby powder, may have inadvertently ingested asbestos fibers.
In recent years too, however, asbestos was found in factories that process talc. In fact, in 2000, a newspaper based out of Seattle reported asbestos presence at a Virginia talc-mining facility.
Children’s Art Supplies May Contain Asbestos
Asbestos in the talc of children’s art supplies, such as crayons, were also discovered in 2000. Although research by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggested that the amount was so low that there is little risk of harm, many doctors who specialize in mesothelioma state that no amount of asbestos, no matter how small, is safe.
Using Asbestos-containing Talc Products May Cause Mesothelioma
Recently, a woman who was recently diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma informed her physician that she had never worked at a job site that contained asbestos, nor had any of her friends or close relatives. However, she did admit to using talc powder for many years, during the times in which talc wasn’t scrutinized for asbestos. Consequently, the brand of powder she used was inspected for asbestos. Results indicate that there were asbestos in a total of 50 researched samples. Detailed information regarding the results can be found in the International Journal of Occupational Health’s 2014 issue, Vol. 4.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), however, there are different types of talc products and brands, some of which used asbestos and some of which are asbestos-free. It’s important to let your physician know the exact brands you used, if applicable. Although more studies are needed, ACS suggests that talcum powder may also be linked to ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and uterine cancer.
People who worked in talc mine and operations are also in danger of developing an asbestos-related illness. Although today’s modern safety protection and equipment reduces the risk of asbestos exposure significantly, workers who mined talc for many years prior to the known dangers of asbestos were constantly placed at risk.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness, there is a good chance that you qualify for significant compensation. We invite you to contact our leading mesothelioma lawyers today for a free, confidential case consultation.