Chanel has been hit with a lawsuit in New York state court alleging that its after-bath talcum powder products sold at Publix and Woolworth stores contain asbestos, and caused a woman’s mesothelioma. According to a Law360 report, Dolores Gomez said she was diagnosed with mesothelioma and had used the Chanel talc products for three decades from 1961 to 1991 as her regular hygiene routine. She claims in the lawsuit that Chanel and the retailers that sold the products knew asbestos was present in the talc but failed to adequately warn consumers about its dangers.
Failure to Warn Consumers
The lawsuit says the defendants failed to post proper warnings about the increased risk of mesothelioma with the use of their products by women. On the other hand, they continue to market and advertise these products as safe for women in spite of a safer alternative to talc (cornstarch) being available, the suit alleges. As early as the 1930s, a growing body of medical and scientific literature came out indicating that talc was commonly contaminated with carcinogens such as asbestos, the lawsuit alleged.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s started to look into whether talcum powder products should come with warnings. But powerful lobbying groups quickly blocked that effort. Last week, Johnson & Johnson said it is stopping sales of its talcum powder products in the United States and Canada. J&J is facing thousands of lawsuits from women saying that they developed mesothelioma and ovarian cancer as a result of using these products for feminine hygiene.
Talc and Mesothelioma
Asbestos and talc are two minerals that naturally form together. While these minerals are similar in composition and develop together over time, deposits of talc commonly contaminated with asbestos and asbestos-like fibers. Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma, a cancer that forms primarily in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin membrane protecting several of the body’s most important organs. Each year, there are about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma in the United States.
Manufacturers of cosmetics have used talc in their products because of its moisture reduction properties. However, they have known for decades that there has been a link between talc and cancers such as mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. Our law firm is handling a number of these cases on behalf of injured and affected clients.
If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer as a result of using talc-based powders or cosmetics, it is important that you contact an experienced product defect lawyer who has successfully handled similar cases who can help you better understand your legal rights and options.