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North Carolina Asbestos Law Blog

Cryotherapy promising for future mesothelioma

North Carolina residents may be interested to hear that a recent mesothelioma clinical trial reveals that cryotherapy may be a valuable addition to multidisciplinary treatments of pleural mesothelioma. A leading thoracic surgeon believes that the groundbreaking clinical trial is promising for mesothelioma patients. Although more tests are needed, she says that it could play an important role in future treatments.

The procedure, typically used for external tumors, involves destroying cancer cells by freezing them with nitrogen vapors. It has also been used internally for prostate cancer and liver cancer and is being researched for use in colon, breast and kidney cancer. Another prominent thoracic surgeon performed a similar procedure called cryoablation in the past and had success.

Johnson & Johnson discussed possible asbestos contamination

In the past few years, there has been a surge of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, a well-known and respected brand, for asbestos exposure and related cancers. Plaintiffs claim that due to contaminated baby powder products, they were at heightened risk of contracting deadly cancers.

Johnson & Johnson has produced bath and body products for many years, including so-called baby powder, a talcum powder parents often apply to wet bottoms to prevent diaper rash.

Proposed legislation aims to protect children from asbestos

The recent makeup recalls by several tween retailers has sparked concern over children's safety. A U.S. Representative recently introduced a bill that aims to protect children from asbestos-containing products. The bill is called, "Children's Product Warning Label Act of 2018". It would require manufacturers who market cosmetics to children to either put a warning label on their products or prove that their products do not contain asbestos ingredients. The representative stated that children should not be exposed to asbestos when using everyday products such as makeup and that parents should feel confident that the cosmetics they purchase for their children are safe.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages companies to test their cosmetics for asbestos, but there is currently no federal law requiring them to do so. Also, less exact testing procedures such as polarized light microscopy and X-ray diffraction are adequate according to the FDA protocol, despite there being a more precise test - transmission electron microscopy (TEM) - available. The proposed legislation would require the use of TEM testing on all cosmetic products.

Asbestos FAQ: What you need to know

For many years, the use of asbestos in the construction industry was quite common. In the past, this was used as both an insulating material and flame retardant.

Over time, it was found that asbestos could cause serious health concerns, such as the onset of mesothelioma later in life.

Justice recalls asbestos-containing makeup after secondary test

Several previous North Carolina blog posts reported on allegations regarding makeup products from tween retailers, Claire's and Justice. Both companies pulled their alleged asbestos-containing products from the shelves to ensure the safety of customers. According to Justice, initial tests showed no evidence of asbestos, however secondary testing revealed that small amounts of the deadly mineral were present.

Accordingly, Justice has announced a recall of these products and states that an extensive investigation is ongoing. The company does not know of any adverse reactions, injuries or illnesses caused by the recalled products and says that adverse consequences are unlikely. However, in the interest of public safety, the retailer has removed the makeup from shelves and will be issuing full refunds to those who return the products ("Just Shine" makeup line, including Powder, Bronzer Brush, Makeup Palettes and Eye Shadow Palettes) to its stores.

Were you harmed by exposure to Roundup?

In the summer of 2018, the first of several hundred Roundup exposure lawsuits against Monsanto will go to trial, possibly setting the tone for the court and opening the door for many other victims to pursue justice against the bioengineering giant.

For many who lost loved ones to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or received such a diagnosis themselves, it has taken years to get the courts to take up the matter of Roundup weed killer and its possible links to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The chemicals in the product are alleged to cause the disease to develop in those exposed to it. While the courts have yet to issue a ruling in the initial case, some industry analysts believe it could be a day of reckoning for Monsanto.

Pursuing compensation for victims of mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. Many victims will live for decades without a disease diagnosis because they do not exhibit mesothelioma symptoms. By the time they are diagnosed with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma, treatment symptoms are limited, and life expectancy is decreased.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, about 3,000 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States and the number of deaths caused by the disease increased by almost 5 percent from 1999 to 2015. The report states that although latency periods typically range from 20 to 40 years, patients have a median survival rate of approximately one year from the time of diagnosis.

What you need to know: asbestos, talc and cancer

Asbestos, talc and ovarian cancer have been in the news recently, with the awarding of $417 million in damages in a lawsuit tying ovarian cancer to talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay the millions to an East Los Angeles medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson's Baby Powder for decades. (Though a judge has since overturned the record verdict, citing an error in law and jury misconduct.)

Some 5,000 separate cases are pending against the company. So far, juries have found Johnson & Johnson liable in four lawsuits, with damages totaling more than $700 million.

To help you understand the risks, dangers and complexities of asbestos, talc and ovarian cancer, here's what you need to know:

Claire's continues to dispute study's findings of asbestos

A previous blog post discussed a recent case involving Claire's, a nationwide chain of stores whose target market is girls aged three to 18. An investigation revealed the presence of asbestos in 17 of its makeup products, however the company disputed the findings. The North Carolina Scientific Analytical Institute (NCSAI) Director of Research and Legal Services stands behind the lab's initial finding that Claire's sold asbestos-containing products.

Although Claire's announced that it would pull the products from the shelves, it also denied that its products contained tremolite asbestos as NCSAI claimed. The company stated that two certified independent lab results showed that the products were asbestos-free but did not respond to questions regarding the identity of those labs. Claire's instead shared certificates of analysis from its supplier with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support its claim that its products do not contain asbestos ingredients.

Johnson & Johnson facing lawsuits related to talcum powder

For decades, talcum powder, often sold as the product named "baby powder," has experienced popularity as a product to dry babies' bottoms in diapers. It has also been used by countless women for feminine hygiene. Women have applied this powder inside their undergarments or directly on their genitals for generations, believing the product to be safe for such applications.

Now Johnson & Johnson has to contend with a steadily-increasing number of lawsuits related to asbestos contamination and cancers related to talcum powder. There have already been several high-profile, successful lawsuits, as well as a few plaintiffs who did not win their cases. Another trial about this health and beauty product is about to start in New Jersey.

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