Many in Tennessee may believe that asbestos is something that does not affect them. They may live in newer homes and work in modern buildings, so they are not at risk of contamination from the carcinogenic particles in materials containing asbestos. What the mass torts cases related to talcum powder have shown is that asbestos and the diseases related to it may be in the most seemingly innocent places.
Recent tests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioned have confirmed that about 20% of talc-based cosmetics contain asbestos. The study came about in the wake of the recent talcum powder scares, and consumer advocates worried that other products, particularly those marketed to children, may contain the deadly substance. The findings prompted the introduction of legislation requiring strict testing of any play cosmetics marketed to children.
Talc-based cosmetics include eye shadow, foundation powder and blush. Since asbestos and talc often form together in the same rock, it is highly likely that talc contains traces of asbestos. However, scientists say that even the slightest exposure to asbestos can result in mesothelioma or other incurable lung diseases, from which as many as 15,000 people die each year in this country.
The FDA continues to test cosmetics for children and adults, and the U.S. government is considering legislation to tighten safety regulations in the cosmetic industry. Meanwhile, those in Tennessee who are suffering from asbestos-related illnesses may wonder about their options. They may find answers to their questions by contacting an attorney with experience handling mass torts claims.