Talcum powder has been marketed for decades as a method to stay dry, but it may have a dangerous side effect that users should have known about from the beginning. Asbestos among the fine particles of talc in the toiletry product may have been inhaled, causing a cancer in the lining of an organ known as mesothelioma.
One of the most insidious problems with mesothelioma is its difficulty to detect. The symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, may be so subtle or confused with other problems that the cancer is not detected until it is too late to treat effectively.
A recent lawsuit awarded a massive sum to a man claiming that talcum powder caused his case of mesothelioma. An $80 million verdict added to previous winnings totaling $37 million for medical expenses and punitive damages among other awards.
The lawsuit claimed that the manufacturer knew of the dangers of asbestos contamination in talcum powder while keeping the information from the public. Laws in the United States have banned asbestos from household products for decades.
Other health risks may arise from talcum powder, such as ovarian cancer among women who used it as a feminine hygiene aid. A similar lawsuit against the same manufacturer won more than $110 million in damages for a woman suffering from this condition.
People who have been harmed by household use of talcum powder may also be eligible for financial damages to help with their medical needs. An attorney can help review the facts of an individual's medical and legal status to advise on the best way to satisfaction.