Apparently the manufacturer of that famous brand of baby powder is facing a possible $10 billion payout, as they are being sued by around 15,500 people who say that the company’s brand of talcum powder contains asbestos which caused their cancers (mainly mesothelioma and ovarian cancer). Traces of asbestos were allegedly found by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in a single bottle of their powder purchased online. The company voluntarily recalled the entire batch and began an investigation as to how the product had been contaminated, and state that thousands of tests completed over 40 years repeatedly show that their talcum powder does not contain asbestos.
Shares in the company dropped and many ambulance-chasing lawyers jumped on the bandwagon, sending out letters to households hoping for huge commissions from successful claims. Lawyers claim that the company’s internal documents (examined by Reuters when the company was forced to reveal thousands of memos, internal reports and confidential documents) show that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s their raw talc and finished powders sometimes contained asbestos, and that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem but failed to disclose it to the regulators or the public.
This makes me think of all the mothers over the years who have unwittingly sprinkled baby powder onto their offspring, unaware of the possible risks involved. I used the self-same powder on my own babies back in the 1980s, and used it myself for at least 45 years.
Many years ago my widely-read mother told me never to use talcum powder. For the past 5 or so years I never have, and I will never use it again. However, I do know that ovarian cancer can also be caused by several other factors apart from talcum powder (age, obesity, endometriosis, family genes, and HRT), and so who really knows how the women’s ovarian cancers were caused? As for mesothelioma though, it is an asbestos-related cancer.
Hmm… methinks that particular company might have a huge problem on their hands.