Occupational Medicine Expert Publishes Study Linking Talc Powder to Mesothelioma

One of the country’s top experts in occupational medicine, epidemiology and prevention has just published a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine supporting the idea that talcum powder contaminated with asbestos is directly linked to malignant mesothelioma. The question of whether exposure to cosmetic talc can cause the rare asbestos-related disease, as well as ovarian cancer, has been the subject of numerous successful lawsuits, and will be asked in 15,500 more that are pending.

Study’s co-author is frequent expert witness in mesothelioma cases

The study was co-authored by Jacqueline Moline, professor of occupational medicine, epidemiology and prevention at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Professor Moline is frequent called as an expert witness in cases involving mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, and her study, which included case studies from 33 different mesothelioma patients, included tissue samples from some cases for which she testified.

Six of those mesothelioma patient’s tissue samples revealed fibers that were consistent with asbestos found in cosmetic talc, which made sense considering that those patients’ only substantial exposure to asbestos was from the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or other talcum powder products.  Previous studies have shown that patients whose exposure to commercial asbestos used in building supplies and insulation contain different types of asbestos fibers.

Asbestos-contaminated talc is blamed for deadly diseases

A 2018 investigation published by Reuters revealed that Johnson & Johnson was aware that their talc-based products were contaminated with asbestos but took action to keep that information secret, and that act may have led to countless cases of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Talc is not just used in body powder: it is also found in makeup products, children’s toys, crayons and more. 

The study is one of the first to look specifically at people whose mesothelioma’s source is not from work environments. Professor Moline explains the importance of that, saying, “This is the first time that anyone has said, ‘Let me look at all these cases, put it all together and identify the ones where [talc] is the sole exposure. People aren’t even aware that cosmetic talcum powder might have had asbestos in it. Everything points to cosmetic talc being the cause.”

One of the first things that patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma have to do is to figure out where their exposure to asbestos came from. If you need assistance in identifying your disease’s source, or with any other aspect of your illness, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at  1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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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