Asbestos in Talcum Powder

Active Case

For many, talc, one of the softest known minerals on earth, is a household staple appearing in baby and body powder, makeup, toothpaste, shampoos and numerous other products that people use daily. In its raw form, however, talcum powder — comprised of magnesium, silicon and oxygen — may contain traces of toxic asbestos, a known carcinogen, due to the minerals being found within close proximity to each other during the mining process. If not carefully screened before hitting shelves, asbestos fibers may contaminate talc-based products, posing a potential deadly threat to you and your family.

October 18, 2019


Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled of a single lot of its baby powder after a sample tested positive for asbestos. The company stated that it is cooperating with the FDA, which conducted the test, to further investigate the matter. Read more.

Motley Rice attorneys have fought for decades to protect and achieve justice for asbestos victims, including representing people allegedly harmed by asbestos contamination in talc-based products. If you or a loved one were harmed, you may have a claim.

Contact an asbestos exposure attorney

If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease after using a talc-based product, such as baby powder, you may contact Nathan Finch and Christopher Swett using this online form or call 1.800.768.4026 for more information and to discuss your potential claim.

Diseases associated with asbestos exposure

If inhaled, talc that is contaminated with asbestos can cause a number of life altering, and potentially deadly, cancers and lung diseases. Common diseases associated with asbestos exposure include: 

  • Mesothelioma: A form of cancer that can take decades to develop after the initial exposure, affecting the mesothelial cells lining the lung, chest cavity, abdominal cavity or heart cavity.
  • Asbestosis: The chronic inflammation and subsequent scarring of the lung, causing shortness of breath.
  • Lung cancer: The abnormal cell growth of lung tissues. For every case of mesothelioma, there are at least twice as many cases of asbestos-related lung cancer.
  • Other related cancers: Cancers of the larynx, pancreas, esophagus, colon, kidney, omentum (the fatty tissue layer covering the lower abdomen) and tunica vaginalis (inner lining of the testicular sac) have also been linked to asbestos exposure.

Is talc regulated?

Federal laws in the U.S. have required since 1973 that “cosmetic-grade” talc be asbestos free in order to be used in commercial products that are marketed to the public. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has completed exploratory surveys to test for asbestos contamination involving a number of suppliers and product brands, few regulations or enforcement policies are in place to ensure that talc-based products aren’t contaminated and are safe for use. Concerns about talc’s safety have prompted bans for cosmetic use in the European Union, as well as restricted use in baby products in Canada. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, however, claims there is no significant physical or chemical danger related to talc, other than possible effects to the lungs if inhaled, and redness and pain caused by accidental contact to the eyes.

Johnson & Johnson talc litigation

We also represent women in litigation against Johnson & Johnson who claim the company’s baby and body powders caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Read more on talc’s link to ovarian cancer

Related News

CNN (May 24, 2018) Johnson & Johnson hit with $25.75 million verdict in talc-asbestos case
Reuters (May 14, 2018) J&J defends itself in trial over baby powder asbestos claims
Courtroom View Network (May 11, 2018) Talc Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit Involving J&J, Rite Aid Heads to Trial in South Carolina
Reuters (April 16, 2018) J&J Baby Powder litigation takes new focus with asbestos claims
Reuters (April 11, 2018) J&J, Imerys unit must pay $117 million in N.J. asbestos cancer case

Motley Rice LLC, a South Carolina Limited Liability Company, is engaged in the New Jersey practice of law through Motley Rice New Jersey LLC. Esther Berezofsky is the attorney responsible for New Jersey practice.