© 2020 All rights reserved
Questions about the safety
of cosmetic talc were raised nearly 40 years ago. The concern was historically
focused on the toxicity of the talc itself, or trace contaminants – such as asbestos
cleavage fragments or trace contamination by tremolite asbestos. Initially, the
concerns about any hazard to consumers was dismissed because talc had been
mined for decades, and if some engineering controls were used, the workers were
generally not harmed. The primary occupational hazard was talcosis, and there
was little indication that this disease produced an increased incidence of lung
Surprisingly, around 2015,
a groundswell of claims were made regarding the asbestos content of cosmetic
talc, and the initial allegations was that there was an increased risk of
mesothelioma in those who used cosmetic talc products. Later, these concerns
were broadened to include ovarian cancer. Since 2015, billions of dollars of
awards were distributed by the American court system as a result of
While most toxicologists believe that asbestos-related health hazards associated with the use of cosmetic talc are non-existent, the intensity of this litigation continues to increase. Due to Johnson & Johnson’s 2020 decision to no longer sell cosmetic talc products, some believe that an avalanche of new scientific research will be needed to assess the exposure of the various historical manufacturers and distributors.
Given that our staff has more than 30 published papers on asbestos, and has been advising clients regarding how to incorporate more science into the asbestos litigation, we believe that we are well prepared to assist the dozens or hundreds of firms that will be impacted by the litigation which is unfolding in a significant manner.
We believe that our recent presentation at the 2020 DRI regarding talc litigation and science might be of interest and is available upon request.