North Carolinians may be interested to know that an appeals court recently allowed a 70-year-old woman to move forward with her product liability lawsuit against Colgate-Palmolive, the manufacturers of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder. She alleges that the company’s asbestos-containing products led to her development of mesothelioma after more than 20 years of daily use. According to the woman, her mother powdered her as a child after every bath, and she continued to regularly use the product.
Earlier this year, Johnson & Johnson, Whittaker, Clark & Daniels and Justice faced similar lawsuits for its talcum powder products as well. People are increasingly beginning to question whether talcum products are safe. Despite federal regulations requiring products to undergo a filtering process to remove harmful substances, like asbestos, many are still contaminated with asbestos ingredients.
The woman in this case claims that during the time she used the talcum powder (from the 1950s to the 1970s), health concerns about asbestos were not widespread. It is common for people to develop mesothelioma 50 years after exposure because the disease typically has a long latency period.
Colgate-Palmolive manufactured Cashmere Bouquet from 1871 until 1995. A mineralogist who testified on her behalf claims that he found asbestos in samples taken from mines in Montana, North Carolina and Italy, which supplied the company with the talc for its products. Therefore, he says, asbestos was present in the powder during the time that the woman used it.
Colgate-Palmolive denies that it sold asbestos-containing products. The lower court initially dismissed the case, but that decision was overturned, allowing the jury to decide whether Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder caused or contributed to the woman’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
Source: Mesothelioma.com, “California Court Allows Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Case to Move Forward,” Jillian Duff, October 24, 2017