Johnson & Johnson has been entrenched with litigation for several years relating to mesothelioma and ovarian cancer related to its talcum powder products. But Johnson & Johnson is not the only company placing consumers at risk. Other cosmetic companies, including Estee Lauder, are facing similar litigation related to talcum powder. And it's not just talcum powder, the Scientific Analytical Institute, said last year that its tests also detected the heavy metals barium, chromium, lead, and selenium in Claire's line of makeup products. Such chemicals can be toxic when introduced into the bloodstream.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen with no safe level of exposure, but the United States has not banned asbestos fibers from baby powder or makeup. The Environmental Working Group has warned “there is no law that prohibits the presence of asbestos in cosmetics.” Talcum powder is mined in similar geographical areas as asbestos and while companies are encouraged to carefully select where talc is mined, these products are not regulated by any government body. J&J has lobbied for years to prevent regulation and now they are defending the safety of their products in court.
In June 2021, Johnson and Johnson's appeal of a 2.1-billion-dollar talc verdict was tossed by the Supreme Court, forcing Johnson and Johnson to pay the verdict. As it turns out, J&J had contracted labs over the years to ensure that the talc it was sourcing was safe, but the actual lab tests dating back to 1971 show that trace amounts of asbestos had been found in talcum powder for years, including through the early 2000s. J&J knew for decades that it's staple baby powder product was contaminated and yet continued to sell the products and bury the results.
If you or someone you know have developed mesothelioma as a result of using cosmetic products that may have been contaminated with asbestos, contact the attorneys at Keilty Bonadio.