PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. According to the American Cancer Society, exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of malignant mesothelioma. Those who are most at risk of developing mesothelioma are those who were exposed to the substance repeatedly and for long periods of time. Generally these were people who worked in construction, the shipbuilding industry, manufacturers, and auto workers—and sometimes their families when workers brought home contaminated clothes.
The symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, back pain, difficulty breathing, coughing, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, and a swollen face or arms. While there is no cure for this condition, there are a range of palliative treatments available. Mesothelioma is a painful and ultimately deadly condition. The World Health Organization has found that no amount of exposure to asbestos is safe. For some people, only a small amount of asbestos exposure is sufficient to trigger the development of mesothelioma.
While construction workers and workers in industry have generally been seen as most at risk, there have been occasions where other individuals have become exposed to asbestos. Now, a Reuters report indicates that Johnson & Johnson, may have been aware for years that its talcum powder products could have contained amounts of asbestos. Talc is often found in similar mines as asbestos.
Some women have sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that asbestos in the talcum powder they used their whole lives may have contributed to their cancer. However, many of these cases were dropped because the companies were able to avoid providing test results to determine whether talc contained asbestos.
However, in recent months, Johnson & Johnson has had to turn over its internal documents. Reuters performed a thorough examination of the documents. Reports show that in the documents found that between 1971 and the early 2000s, tests revealed trace amounts of asbestos in the talc. It appears that internally, the company wrestled with how to handle these results. Reuters also reports that during this time, the company attempted to influence regulators and their scientific research on the impact that talc products could have on human health.
Johnson & Johnson asserts that its products do not contain asbestos and that talcum powder is safe. The company claims that the positive results for asbestos could have been outliers, and that the sensitive tests may have picked up on asbestos found in the air due to insulation or car clutches.
Yet, Reuters found that the company appears to have been aware that asbestos could be found in trace amounts in its products and that the company worked hard to prevent this information from going public.
If you used talcum powder on your children or were exposed to talcum powder, what are the risks? The connection between talcum powder and cancer is still being studied. However, more people are coming forward, and are seeking damages from talcum powder companies for their illness. Goodrich & Associates, P.C. are personal injury lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who are closely following this case. If you believe you have been hurt due to the actions of another person or company, visit us at Goodrich & Associates, P.C. today.
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