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Mesothelioma Law Blog

Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder in U.S.

For many years, Johnson & Johnson worked hard to convince women and mothers everywhere that its baby powder was gentle and pure. However, by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, those women and mothers may have been exposing themselves and their children to carcinogenic asbestos.

Now, the company has announced its plans to stop selling talc-based baby powder in the U.S. This comes nearly two and a half years after Reuters first revealed that Johnson & Johnson had known about asbestos in its baby powder. So, what does the company’s announcement mean? How might it help those who blame their cancers on asbestos in the baby powder?

Who can file a lawsuit regarding asbestos exposure?

If you have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, you may be wondering if you should take legal action against those who have harmed you. A valid claim could result in compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and other damages.

Every situation is different, and it often helps to involve a professional when trying to determine your best path forward. However, there are generally three types of people who can file valid legal claims for asbestos-related damages.

How might a dentist be exposed to asbestos?

Dentistry may not be typically considered a high-risk profession for asbestos exposure, but many dentists have been exposed. This exposure may have occurred through their use of dental lining tape, one of the many products that used to be made with asbestos.

Asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals with fire-resistant and insulative properties. These properties made asbestos a desirable additive in numerous commercial products. Unfortunately, it is also toxic.

Why it matters how the experts define asbestos

The link between asbestos and mesothelioma is undeniable. For many years, scientists have known that asbestos exposure can cause the rare cancer. However, this link gets muddied once talc producers get involved.

As Chemical Watch recently reported, this is because asbestos isn’t a single mineral. Instead, it’s a group of minerals that share some key features. Because these minerals are known to cause cancers like mesothelioma, companies need to keep them out of their products, which is why Johnson & Johnson, along with some other companies, have fought the government’s efforts to expand its definition of asbestos.

Are there different kinds of mesothelioma?

Most people understand that lung cancer involves abnormal cells in the lungs and skin cancer involves abnormal cells in the skin. It is common for people to have a general understanding about what cancer is. However, for many people, mesothelioma remains a bit of a mystery.

Mesothelioma is actually another type of cancer. This type of cancer is rare and aggressive, and its development is often associated with exposure to asbestos.

When are respiratory troubles a sign of mesothelioma?

It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose mesothelioma. Its symptoms often resemble those of other, more common respiratory diseases. So, how can you know if you have mesothelioma, the flu or something else?

The truth is that there's no easy answer. Certainly, since asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, your doctor may ask about your exposure to asbestos. But the work doctors do to identify mesothelioma is often done in stages.

Some art has hidden risks: asbestos in the jewelry industry

When someone thinks about work-related asbestos exposure, they may think about construction work, shipbuilding or manufacturing. Jewelry making is probably not the first profession to come to mind. Yet, asbestos has been used in the jewelry making process for decades.

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals with fire-resistant and insulative properties. However, researchers have linked these minerals with diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

New study confirms link between talc and mesothelioma

In recent months, the world has learned a great deal about the link between talc products and mesothelioma. This owes largely to the reports that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its baby powder contains asbestos. Naturally, Johnson & Johnson denied the reports.

However, a recent study in the American Journal of Medicine may have undercut the health giant's denials. This study looked at 85 mesothelioma victims and supports the idea that repeated talc use may cause cancer.

Why would a U.S. working group consider redefining asbestos?

Thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that contaminated talc in the company’s baby powder caused their cancers. Other companies with talc-based products face similar lawsuits.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cosmetics, companies are not legally required to submit the ingredients in their products for review by the FDA before putting the products on the market. Also, there is currently no standardized way to test for asbestos in talc. This means that the same test samples can end up with varying test results, which makes regulation even more difficult.

Who may benefit from tumor treatment fields?

A new at-home treatment device is now available to people diagnosed with mesothelioma. This device, called Novo TTF-100L, is intended to work alongside chemotherapy to slow, stop or reduce cancer in the body.

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the device May 2019, it has been gaining traction around the country. Most recently, the device has been added to the list of available treatments at the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Other certified treatment centers include Miami Cancer Institute in Florida, Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, Ochsner Medical Center in Louisiana, Ochsner Health Center in Louisiana, Oregon Health and Science University in Oregon, and West Cancer Clinic in Tennessee.

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