Some of the largest brand names in the beauty industry have come under scrutiny as their products may contain a toxic ingredient linked to deadly cancers. In recent years, studies have shown some products from Chanel and L’Oreal contain talcum powder, an ingredient often containing the carcinogen asbestos. Unfortunately, products with talcum powder can cause permanent health consequences for users. Asbestos in talc is the only known cause of Mesothelioma, one of the most life-threatening cancers. Talc is currently used in thousands of cosmetic products because it adds softness, absorbs moisture, and prevents caking. The growing number of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder show the devastating impact of long-term talcum powder use. As talc continues to be discovered in more beauty products, consumers must beware of serious cancer risks.
Chanel Mesothelioma Lawsuit
In 2018, a woman filed a lawsuit against Chanel claiming her mesothelioma was caused by using their after-bath talc product in her personal care routine for 30 years. Thousands of people use talc-based products because the labels don’t warn of cancer risks. Oftentimes, consumers have to do their own research on these products since brands continue to sell them. This is particularly dangerous due to the decades of research finding both direct and secondary exposure to talc can be linked to cancer, lung disease, and even death.
In March 2020, a Chanel representative claimed the company stopped making the talc-based after-bath powder in 2017. This asbestos-tainted product had been sold in stores since 1924, leaving thousands of users at risk for Mesothelioma. Chanel also stopped sales of a loose face powder containing talc in 2016, but continues to use it in some pressed powders, blush, and eye shadows. Chanel claims their products are tested for purity criteria and that they are safe for cosmetic use, but any amount of a known carcinogen poses health risks for users.
After lawsuits against Chanel became publicized, other large beauty companies, including L’Oreal, silently removed talc from their body products. Companies like Bausch Health and Avon also have pending lawsuits against them over talc-containing products.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson sold their infamous baby powder, made with crushed talc, since 1894. The most publicized talcum powder lawsuits are against J&J baby powder, showing a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The company had created an alternative in 1980 when consumer advocates raised awareness of toxic asbestos, but J&J still sold the talc-based product as well. This year, J&J finally stopped sales of the powder due to the mounting number of lawsuits against them. Thousands of women claim J&J should’ve warned of the ovarian cancer risk from asbestos in their product. Though the product is often marketed toward parents with infants, many women use talc products throughout their lives, even as young girls, to prevent chafing. This long-term use makes them very susceptible to ovarian cancer as well as mesothelioma.
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Talc Products from Other Brands
As the dangers of talc become more well-known, the Environmental Working Group urges companies to cut this ingredient out of cosmetic products. Talc-containing products have continued to surface on Amazon, where an eyeshadow palette with traces of asbestos was marketed to children. Last year, the FDA issued multiple alerts of asbestos in eye shadow sold at the retailer Claire’s, which also targets young girls. Asbestos can enter the body through inhalation, making this dangerous for young makeup users. The FDA advises users to avoid recalled products containing asbestos from Beauty Plus Global Inc. and Claire’s Stores, Inc.
Safer Alternatives to Talc-Based Products
Personal care companies claim that there aren’t many alternatives to talc. However, cornstarch is considered a safer, natural alternative as it hasn’t been linked to any health risks. In 2018, manufacturers of Nivea baby powder switched to corn starch. Many other personal care companies have started implementing organic alternatives to talcum powder. Consumers should stick to brands that use these ingredients, or cornstarch, as an alternative to talc:
- Baking soda
- Tapioca starch
- Arrowroot starch
- Kaolin clay
- Rice starch
- Oat flour
Pintas & Mullins Can Help
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after regularly using a talc-based product, we can provide you expert guidance and compassionate legal representation. Our team of national lawyers represents thousands of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma patients in their cases. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with one of these cancers, contact our firm immediately for a free case review. We can help you get the settlement you deserve, and won’t charge a fee unless you win your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free evaluation of your case at (800) 934-6555