While Johnson & Johnson has made the national news because of talc products being linked with exposure to asbestos, J&J isn’t the only brand with this issue. Major brand Chanel has recently been hit with a lawsuit in New York for products that contain talc and asbestos.
More Allegations Against Major Cosmetics Companies
The allegations state that the asbestos in the talc products led to a woman developing mesothelioma. The products had been sold in Woolworth stores as well as in Publix. The litigant stated that she had used the Chanel products for 30 years, beginning in 1961.
Chanel is one of three major brands that is moving away from talc products. It stopped using the ingredient in a loose face powder and discontinued a body powder containing talc. According to court documents, it took this step because of the negative attitudes towards talc from consumers.
Revlon is another major cosmetics manufacturer that has taken talc out of all body products. L’Oreal is looking into viable alternative ingredients for its products.
Talc is well-known for its ability to absorb moisture, which is a major selling point for body products and cosmetics. It also adds softness and prevents caking of the products. However, it is often found in the same areas as asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Manufacturers that retrieve the talc must refine it to ensure it doesn’t contain asbestos before using it in products. There is a growing concern that the refinement process hasn’t been effective or has been skipped when these products are developed, which means the carcinogen is present.
Asbestos and Cancer
Asbestos fibers build up over time because they aren’t eliminated from the body. When there is enough of them, they can cause cancer. This is the reason for the concern with consumers who have been using these products for decades having a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against J&J and other manufacturers of talc products. Some of these suits go back to 2013 while others are more recent. More companies are becoming involved as evidence mounts against talc products. Allegations have stated that Johnson & Johnson knew their products contained asbestos and still continued to sell them in spite of the risk.
Asbestos is recognized as the cause of mesothelioma, which has been traditionally a disease among blue-collar men who worked in construction and other jobs where they were exposed to the carcinogen. However, more women are being diagnosed with the disease, which has led to an investigation. The studies have revealed a link between cosmetics and body products and asbestos.
The body powder from Chanel has been around since 1924, but the company decided to stop making it due to the negative publicity regarding talc. At the same time, the manufacturer maintains that these products are safe for use. Chanel is continuing to use talc in some cosmetic products, including eye shadow and blush. It claims that the talc meets purity criteria and is safe to use under standard conditions.