Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

FDA Talc Testing Standards May Be Compromised By Outside Influences

A prominent retired pathologist says claims of talc's asbestos contamination are jaded by untrue assumptions

Friday, April 3, 2020 - Brooke Mossman, a retired University of Vermont pathologist who has testified as an expert witness for Johnson & Johnson has brought up interesting questions regarding significant issues regarding assumptions that talc is contaminated with asbestos and could cause mesothelioma. Elongated Mineral Particles (EMPs) are the central point of contention in the FDA's fight to force changes in the cosmetics industry regarding standard talc testing methods. Talc, a naturally occurring mineral mined from the earth, is the main ingredient in women's and children's cosmetic products and toiletries, most notably Johnson's Baby Powder. Juries have awarded plaintiffs hundreds of millions of dollars in punitive damages over the last year or so mainly because plaintiffs have convinced juries that talc contains asbestos fibers, a known carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson has appealed all verdicts, however, and claim that the testing methods used are overly sensitive and the results include certain fibers that are indistinguishable and potentially confused with asbestos. These fibers are called Elongated Mineral Particles (EMPs). J&J argues that not all EMPs are necessarily harmful to one's health, and there is no proof that they are carcinogenic. Talcum powder cancer attorneys representing american nationwide, offer a no obligation free consultation before filing a claim.

Ms. Mossman also takes issue with verbiage used in court that could be considered inflammatory and contribute to the billions in punitive damages plaintiffs have been awarded. One such statement that has been repeated in numerous trials by plaintiff attorneys is that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Another is that talc may be contaminated by asbestos since both are mined close to one another via open-pit blasting operations. These points were highlighted by the Interagency Working Group on Asbestos in Consumer Products (IWGACP), the testing lab hired by the FDA to advise the public health watchdog agency on setting a new standard for talc safety testing. Legal News Line.com reported Ms. Mossman's thoughts: "This is not a scientific statement and should be removed from this document as it engenders fear. Although this statement is used in courtrooms, it is contradicted by the fact that members of the general population have millions of fibers in their lungs, yet mesotheliomas are rarely observed in nonoccupational settings."

People generally fall into one of two categories regarding the truthfulness of statements made as to talc's safety or lack thereof. The first are people who have used Johnson's Baby Powder or other cosmetic powder regularly for a long time and have developed mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the lungs thought to be caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Plaintiffs have convinced juries that they have had no other long-term exposure to asbestos therefore talc is the most likely cause of their cancer. On the other hand, scientific evidence is difficult to pindown and defenders of the safety of talc point out that plaintiff claims lack scientific integrity. Ms. Mossman falls into the latter camp and summed up the IWGACP's findings, telling Legal News Line: "The draft report "frequently made conclusions that were not supported by scientific panels or recent publications in the peer-reviewed scientific literature."

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OnderLaw, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. The Onder Law Firm has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The firm has represented thousands of persons in these and other products liability litigation, including DePuy hip replacement systems, which settled for $2.5 billion and Pradaxa internal bleeding, which settled for $650 million. The Onder Law Firm won over $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis to date and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.

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