Revlon Accused of Selling Products That Contain Talc April 8, 2020
Revlon is the latest corporation to be named in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleges the company’s talc-containing cosmetic products resulted in her developing mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that is usually fatal and invades the lining of tissue surrounding the stomach, lungs, heart, and other organs. Altogether, more than 16,000 lawsuits have been filed in the United States against companies for claims of manufacturing and selling potentially deadly talc and asbestos-contaminated products to date.
There are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma every year. Although the cancer is rare, it is usually accompanied by an extremely deadly prognosis: the 5-year survival rate is only around 10% because it is often diagnosed at a late stage. People usually develop mesothelioma after inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers, which cause damage to the cells in the lining of the lungs and abdomen. Being exposed to asbestos is the number one cause of mesothelioma.
What Is Asbestos And Why Is It So Dangerous?
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are recognized as carcinogens, or cancer causing substances. These minerals are made up on tiny, needle-like fibers that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Similar to asbestos, talc, or talcum powder, is also a mineral. In its natural form, talc contains asbestos. Talc is used in a variety of cosmetic products because it has the ability to reduce moisture and decrease friction. It is most commonly found in products like baby and body powders, eye shadow, blush, and face powder. Not only does some talc naturally contain asbestos, but the minerals are also often in close physical proximity to one another, which leaves talc vulnerable to being contaminated by nearby asbestos deposits when it is being mined for use.
Although there are some guidelines in place that are intended to curb the use of talc contaminated by asbestos in products, the regulations are not as strict as they should be. In other words, cosmetic companies generally go by their own guidelines and standards instead of being adequately regulated by federal agencies. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees talc products. One of the agency’s only standards is that companies should purify talcum products in order to avoid asbestos contamination – but the agency has no rules related specifically to cosmetic products and lacks the federal authority to review them. Just last year the FDA found traces of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products and over 33,000 were pulled from the shelves – but if there were stricter regulations in place for manufacturers, unsuspecting consumers would not be facing these serious risks in the first place.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Depending on where the cancer is occurring, warning signs of mesothelioma can vary. Some of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma that occurs in the tissue surrounding the lungs include:
- Dry cough or wheezing,
- Respiratory complications like shortness of breath,
- Pain in the abdomen or chest,
- Fever or night sweats,
- Pleural effusion, or fluid around the lungs,
- Muscle weakness, and:
When mesothelioma occurs in the tissue of the abdomen, it generally causes signs like abdominal swelling and pain, unexplained weight loss, and nausea. Talcum-based products that are contaminated with asbestos have also been listed as culprits in lawsuits citing serious cases of ovarian cancer. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or the IARC, perineal (genital) use of talc-based body powders (like baby powder) is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. Despite evidence indicating that use of these products can result in deadly consequences, they remain popular cosmetic sellers nationwide.
If you believe you have symptoms of mesothelioma related to exposure to a contaminated cosmetic product, someone at our firm can help. Please contact a representative online now.
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