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Talcum powder lawsuit is seen as product safety landmark

It's hard to imagine the dangers of a product with the benign name of "baby powder." However, it appears that courts are beating scientists to the claim that talc, a clay mineral renowned for its absorbent qualities, may not be as benign as its popular trade name suggests.

A court in Missouri ruled this year that a major producer and distributor of talcum powder as a hygiene product owes billions of dollars to the plaintiffs in a class-action suit against the company. Twenty-two women pressed their case that daily use of the powder resulted in ovarian or cervical cancer, although six died before the case concluded.

This is the largest class-action suit to date regarding talcum powder, which users claim contains dangerous levels as asbestos and other cancer-causing properties. Daily use of talcum powder on the genital area by women may cause ovarian cancer or other long-term medical complications.

Some previous cases regarding the use of baby powder have been overturned because the science of cause and effect is still being determined. However, these efforts have communicated to the hygiene product industry that consumers refuse to sacrifice their safety and trust in products for their producers' higher profits.

Talcum powder is one of a variety of products, from construction materials to furnishing, that may cause cancer or other poor effects on personal health. Victims of exposure to asbestos, talcum powder or other commercial causes of illness may consult an attorney on the possibility of an individual or class-action lawsuit to stop a harmful and dangerous business practice.

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