Cosmetic Industry Executives Failed To Take Product Safety Seriously Until Lawsuits Forced Them
The Cosmetics industry has failed to test talc products for asbestos and other contaminants adequately
Friday, August 21, 2020 - For over half a century, the cosmetics industry led by Johnson & Johnson adopted a casual approach to asbestos testing, one that returned results that the talc mined from Imerys Inc., was pure, asbestos-free, and safe for consumers. Independent microscope scientists, on the other hand, use a talc testing method that is more sensitive and returns positive results not only for asbestos but also for other potentially health-damaging fibers called elongate mineral particles (EMPs). Talcum powder attorneys offer a free no obligation consultation to families and individuals harmed from using J&J's talcum powder contaminated with asbestos.
The cosmetics industry does not have to apply for FDA approval before offering a product to the market for sale. That includes toiletries and cosmetics containing talc such as baby powder, makeup, and blush. The lack of focus on product safety became evident on two separate occasions in the last year at trials where executives from Johnson & Johnson and Clubman Inc., the maker of barbershop talcum testified. Johnson & Johnson's CEO testified in the punitive damages phase of one cancer trial about his understanding of talc asbestos contamination. "In response to a question posed by the plaintiff lawyers, Gorsky told the jury he did not read all the internal company documents related to potential asbestos contamination in Baby Powder, including those contained in links in the Reuters report. "I did not read all the documents, but I would rely on the experts in these fields," Gorsky testified," according to Reuters.
In the Clubman Talcum Powder cancer trial, executive vice president Charlie Loveless told jurors that he relied on the certificates of purity that accompanied the wholesale talc shipments received from their talc supplier. "Loveless admitted that the company had never conducted internal tests or ordered testing of their talc by a third party laboratory until after it had been sued for negligence in its handling of the product. Loveless also acknowledged that it was after this lawsuit that the company first put a warning on the Clubman product and later replaced the talc in the product with cornstarch," according to Mesothelioma.net.
Thousands of men and women with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma suing Johnson & Johnson and other companies have forced the cosmetics industry to take the safety of their products more seriously. There is no question whether or not asbestos causes mesothelioma and other forms of cancer, nor is there any doubt that talc, mined in or around adjacent asbestos mines can contain the deadly natural fibers. What will be questionable at Johnson's Baby Powder trials going forward, is the efficacy of the testing methods to be adopted as standards to be used by the cosmetics industry. On one side in this David versus Goliath battle will be individual plaintiffs that have allegedly developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma from the near-lifetime regular use of baby powder, and on the other side, giant corporations in the cosmetics industry led by Johnson & Johson, Revlon, Colgate Palmolive, and many others.