Colgate-Palmolive has been hit with 170 cases accusing it of selling asbestos-laced talcum powder for years. Many of the cases are tied to one of the company’s longest running brands—Cashmere Bouquet. Multiple lawsuits claim that the talc used in Cashmere Bouquet body powder came from mines contaminated with asbestos. After years of using the powder, the victims say they contracted a number of different cancers—including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma, among the deadliest of all cancers, is caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, “they can travel to the ends of the small airways and enter the pleural lining of the lung and chest wall,” explains the American Cancer Society. “These fibers can then injure the cells of the pleura, and eventually cause (pleural) mesothelioma.”
Another type of mesothelioma called peritoneal mesothelioma forms in the abdomen and can result from coughing up and swallowing inhaled asbestos fibers. Pericardial mesothelioma, an extremely rare form of mesothelioma, occurs when asbestos fibers find their way to the lining of the heart (pericardium) where they can remain lodged for decades before the disease develops. This is the same for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, which is why so many women are now developing the disease after decades of use.
In one of the costliest lawsuits for Colgate-Palmolive, a woman alleged she used Cashmere Bouquet for more than 20 years before being diagnosed with mesothelioma. According to Bloomberg, the victim claimed that the company failed to warm 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. A California jury agreed and ordered the multibillion-dollar company to pay the victim $13 million.
If you have been exposed to asbestos or think you may have, see your doctor right away. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection could lead to better treatment options and increased survival.
Feeley, Jef, and Margaret Cronin Fisk. "Colgate-Palmolive Settles Claims Over Asbestos in Its Talc." Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 10 Nov. 2017. Web. 11 Dec. 2017.
Levin, Myron. "Colgate-Palmolive Suffers Courtroom Loss in Asbestos-Talc Powder Case." FairWarning. FairWarning, 08 July 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2017.
“What are the Risk Factors for Malignant Mesothelioma?” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 11 Dec. 2017.
"Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?" Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota Department of Health, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2017.