A lifelong ‘Cashmere Bouquet’ user has been awarded $13 million in a settlement against Colgate-Palmolive. In the suit, the woman claimed that ‘Cashmere Bouquet,’ a talcum powder (talc) manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive, caused her to develop mesothelioma—a rare, but deadly cancer with no cure.
The victim said in the suit that she used the product for decades before being diagnosed with mesothelioma and that the company failed to warn her of the “risks, dangers and harm’’ to which she would be exposed through “inhalation or ingestion of the asbestos dust’’ in the body powders. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the consumer-products maker is now facing nearly 200 cases accusing it of selling asbestos-laden body powder. So far this year, more than 40 cases have been resolved.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) lists talc that contains asbestos as carcinogenic to humans. “In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers around the lungs when inhaled,” says the ACS. Now it appears that some of this “natural” talc can still be found in products American’s use every day—including body powders. Though the amounts may seem small to, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says, “there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure.” This means, even the smallest amount can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and many other diseases.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.” Part of the World Health Organization (WHO), the agencies main goal is to identify causes of cancer, so numerous studies on personal use of talc have been conducted. Though results of these studies have been mixed, some suggest that the use of talc could increase the risk of certain cancers.
“Until more information is available, people concerned about using talcum powder may want to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it,” says the ACS.
Feeley, Jef, and Margaret Cronin Fisk. "Colgate-Palmolive Settles Claims Over Asbestos in Its Talc." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P., 10 Nov. 2017. Web. 29 Nov. 2017.
"Known and Probable Human Carcinogens." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 29 Nov. 2017.
"Protect Your Family from Asbestos-Contaminated Vermiculite Insulation." EPA.gov. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 28 Dec. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2017.
"Talcum Powder and Cancer." American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 29 Nov. 2017.