Mesothelioma is a rare type of lung cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. In times past, men and women who worked in industrial jobs and for the Navy and shipping industries were exposed to asbestos, which had been used as a fire retardant, and contracted the deadly form of cancer. Now, there may be a new culprit in an all too familiar form: baby powder. Salon reports on documents that may reveal Johnson & Johnson was aware that their talc powder may have contained 1% asbestos.
In the 1970’s, an official working for Johnson & Johnson posed a question that is coming back to haunt the company today, nearly 50 years later.
The question? “If Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder contained 1% asbestos, how much would an infant inhale while being dusted with the substance?”
In a memo response by an executive, that executive concluded that the exposure would be far less than the legal limits that miners are exposed to the cancer-causing substance.
However, the company has always contended that their product was asbestos-free.
Now, the company is facing mesothelioma lawsuits. It has already won a huge victory in the first of these lawsuits back in November. A Los Angeles jury found that Johnson & Johnson and a co-defendant Imerys Talc America were not responsible for the mesothelioma that was contracted by 61-year-old Tina Herford.
Johnson & Johnson is just one of several talc powder manufacturers who are facing lawsuits filed by people who have contracted mesothelioma.
These cases are separate from those seeking to find the companies liable for the possible link between ovarian cancer and females who use the talc powders for feminine hygiene.
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