The jury may still be out on whether or not talcum powder causes health problems on its own. The absorbent substance has long been marketed as an option for feminine hygiene or baby care. But one problem with talcum powder that cannot be overstated is possible contamination by asbestos.
A state government is becoming one of the first to sue the producers and distributors of talcum powder and other substances that may have also contained asbestos. Many scientists and lawyers have argued that asbestos can become unsafe when it breaks down into fibrous particles, which can be inhaled and cause problems in the respiratory tract.
Talc and asbestos are often found in the same geological formations. One of the world’s largest manufacturers of talcum powder allegedly got most of the product from a single mine and may have known about the dangers of asbestos contamination for years longer than previously suspected.
“Despite knowing for over forty years that the products contained carcinogenic asbestos and increased the risk of some types of cancer, the companies actively worked to conceal that risk from the public and from government regulators,” said the attorney general leading this recent effort.
More than 10,000 plaintiffs have come forward to sue the pharmaceutical giant for cancer and other ailments potentially connected to use of talcum powder. The company has also been accused of marketing talcum powder specifically to at-risk parts of the population.
Someone who suspects use of talcum powder led to health problems may consult an attorney on the possibility of a lawsuit. Legal representation may be the difference that makes it easier to seek medical help.