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Use of certain talcum products may cause mesothelioma

North Carolina residents may be interested to hear of new and concerning research that has found that some types of talc -- a soft mineral substance used in many medical and household products such as baby powder and cosmetics -- contain asbestos. Researchers found many reports of women suffering from mesothelioma without necessarily working with commonly known asbestos-containing products such as insulation, pipe wrappings and brake linings.

Exposure to talcum powder containing asbestos has lead to incidents of mesothelioma, a fatal form of cancer. Commercial talc mines and the cosmetic industry deny that there is asbestos in their products. According to court testimony, some suppliers of talc products notify buyers that any asbestos contained in their products is not disease-causing. Cosmetics are not subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, a scientific analysis of talc/asbestos products shows that some talcum powder products release asbestos into the air, which can then be breathed in closed spaces. Research shows that asbestos in these cases remains in the air, and in the case of cosmetics, by a person's nose and mouth where they are breathed in. Hundreds of talc/asbestos cases have gone to court. Many of these cases are settled out-of-court. In at least one case, scientists were able to track asbestos that caused the death of a woman to the product she used, to the milled grades, to the mine itself.

Mesothelioma is a serious and often fatal form of cancer. It can affect the abdominal lining, the heart lining or the lung lining. The disease can metastasize, spreading to other areas of the body. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from mesothelioma will eventually die due to the disease. When this happens, it is important for the victim's loved ones to understand their legal rights, including the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

Source: seattlepi, "Study: Cosmetic talc products carry asbestos peril," Andrew Schneider, Oct. 31, 2014

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