Expert Witness Points to Talc Used By Hairdressers As Overlooked Source of Mesothelioma

Anybody who is familiar with malignant mesothelioma knows that there are certain occupations that have a high level of association with the disease as a result of their known exposure to asbestos. According to a highly respected occupational health physician, those professions — shipyard workers, electricians, insulators, factory workers, firefighters and more — have been joined by a previously underexamined group of professionals whose exposure to the carcinogen had previously been unknown. Dr. Jacqueline Moline, the Chair of Occupational Medicine at Hofstra University, says that hairdressers and barbers should be added to the list because of asbestos contamination in cosmetic talc.

Mesothelioma Trial Testimony Reveals Previously Unrealized Risk

The revelations about hairdressers’ and barbers’ increased risk came during a mesothelioma trial at which Dr. Moline is providing expert witness testimony.  She told a New Jersey jury that the general public had previously been unaware that cosmetic talc was contaminated with asbestos, and that her recent studies show that they have long been at increased risk  for the disease.

She is providing testimony on behalf of two mesothelioma victims who are accusing the Clubman brand of talcum powder of being the source of their illness. Both worked in the hairdressing field and have filed a suit against the company that now owns the talc, American International Industries.

Study Reviewed Occupational Histories of 33 Mesothelioma Patients

Dr. Moline’s testimony contained information about a mesothelioma study that she conducted that was recently published in the January 2020 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. That study included data on 33 mesothelioma patients, three of whom had worked as hairdressers, and indicated a “failure to identify the use of talcum powder exposure in their work.” 

She explained that in her mesothelioma research on hairdressers she’d found that “no one elicited the history of exposure and asked whether they used talcum powder. The only thing they asked about was hair dryers. They didn’t consider if they used cosmetic talc in the course of their occupation, and they didn’t take a full history.” She also concluded that, “Clinicians should elicit a history of talcum powder usage in all patients presenting with mesothelioma.”

People diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are often unaware of how or when they were exposed to asbestos. The Patient Advocates at can help with that and much more. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 for assistance and information. 

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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