Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma

Talc is a soft mineral that is used in industrial, commercial and domestic products, including paints, construction materials and cosmetic products. Since the 1800s, companies have sold finely crushed talc, known as talcum powder or baby powder, as a personal hygiene product.

The geologic conditions that cause talc to develop can also cause asbestos to develop. While these minerals can naturally form together, not every talc deposit contains asbestos. Companies are required to source the purest talc deposits they can find, but recent mesothelioma talc lawsuits show that asbestos contamination remains a problem.

Workers exposed to industrial talc and consumers exposed to baby powder have developed mesothelioma cancer and other asbestos-related diseases after exposure to contaminated talc over decades.

Talc Products Known to Contain Asbestos

From industrial ceramics to consumer makeup to children’s toys, asbestos has been found in many different types of talc-containing products.

Asbestos-Contaminated Talc Products
  • Cosmetics
  • Clay
  • Pottery
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Crayons
  • Chalk
  • Electrical switchboards
  • Electric cables
  • Paper
  • Ink
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber sealants and gaskets
  • Plastic automotive parts
  • Jointing compounds, putties and adhesives
  • Household appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers

Some companies are moving away from talc because of the legal controversies involving talc lawsuits. For example, in May 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced it would stop selling its famous talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada.

Talcum Powder and Talc Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Talc mesothelioma lawsuits have been filed by workers exposed to industrial talc products and consumers exposed to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.

Lawsuits Involving Consumer Talc Products

Companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive, along with their talc suppliers Imerys and Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, have been involved in talcum powder lawsuits since 2015.

Johnson & Johnson

In 2018, the first talcum powder lawsuit Johnson & Johnson lost was heard by a New Jersey jury. The court ordered J&J to pay $117 million to Stephen Lanzo III, who claimed he developed mesothelioma as a result of using the company’s baby powder and Shower to Shower products.

Since then, Johnson & Johnson has lost several other mesothelioma lawsuits that resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts. The company is also involved in ovarian cancer talc lawsuits. To date, J&J has been ordered to pay more than $5 billion to plaintiffs who claimed they developed cancer using its talcum powder products.


In 2015, a Los Angeles jury ordered Colgate-Palmolive and four other companies to pay $13 million to Judith Winkel, who claimed she developed mesothelioma after using Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder throughout the 1960s and ’70s.

The company settled a mesothelioma talc lawsuit in 2017 with Carol Schoeniger, who said she developed mesothelioma from using Cashmere Bouquet for more than 20 years.

Whittaker, Clark & Daniels

In 2016, a California jury ordered Whittaker, Clark & Daniels to pay $18 million to Philip Depoian. He believed he developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder used in his father’s barbershop.

A New York jury ordered the company to pay $16.5 million to Florence Nemeth in 2017. She said she developed mesothelioma from using Desert Flower Dusting Powder.

Imerys Talc America

In May 2018, a California jury ordered Imerys and J&J to pay $21.7 million to Joanne Anderson, who claimed she developed mesothelioma after using Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Industrial Talc Lawsuits

While talcum powder lawsuits are a relatively recent development in personal injury law, industrial talc lawsuits date back nearly two decades. These lawsuits have involved talc suppliers that include Vanderbilt Minerals, Hammill & Gillespie and Imerys Talc America.

In 2006, the first verdict involving asbestos in industrial talc was issued against defendants Vanderbilt Minerals, which mined the talc, and Hammill & Gillespie, which distributed the talc. The lawsuit was brought by Peter Hirsch, who claimed he developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos-contaminated industrial talc through his work as a potter. Hirsch died before trial, and his wife carried on the lawsuit. A New Jersey jury awarded Hirsch’s widow $3 million.

Vanderbilt Minerals was also named alongside Imerys Talc America in another industrial talc lawsuit filed by mesothelioma plaintiff Richard Booker. In 2017, a California jury ordered the companies to pay Booker $22.17 million after hearing testimony that Imerys had blended its talc with other sources of the mineral in an effort to hide asbestos contamination.

Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer for a Mesothelioma Talc Lawsuit

The nation’s top mesothelioma law firms have the most experienced attorneys to handle mesothelioma talc lawsuits. While any personal injury attorney may take the case, these claims are best handled by a qualified mesothelioma attorney.

Steps to Hiring a Lawyer for a Mesothelioma Talc Lawsuit

Step 1. Find a Mesothelioma Lawyer

You should consider a nationwide mesothelioma law firm because they have success with mesothelioma cases in every state. The top law firms have a strong success rate and several of them have already secured mesothelioma settlements and verdicts in talc lawsuits.

Step 2. Free Consultation

The nation’s best mesothelioma lawyers offer free consultations. This is an opportunity to interview the law firm so you can learn all about them. It is also an opportunity for them to ask important details about your case and your diagnosis.

Step 3. File a Claim

Once you believe you’ve found the right law firm, your attorney will guide you through the lawsuit filing process and handle all aspects of your claim from start to finish.

Eligibility to File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma who used talcum powder products should speak to a mesothelioma lawyer about their legal options. You may be eligible to file a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit.

Additionally, anyone who lost a loved one to mesothelioma who used talcum powder may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Those with ovarian cancer may qualify to join a class-action lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations on Talc Lawsuits

Talc lawsuits are subject to filing time limits, known as statutes of limitations, which apply to all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

These time limits vary by state and range from one to six years. Most states allow plaintiffs two years to file from the time of a mesothelioma diagnosis or death.

The number of mesothelioma talc lawsuits is expected to increase 10% in 2020, building on an 11% increase from the previous year, according to a KCIC industry report.

Despite companies abandoning the use of talc in many consumer products, mesothelioma talc lawsuits will continue because of the long latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases.

Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos 20 to 50 years ago. That means cases of mesothelioma caused by asbestos-contaminated talc will continue for decades even after a talc product is taken off the market.

Anyone who used talcum powder products throughout their life should be aware of the warning signs of mesothelioma, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, abdominal pain and abdominal swelling. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, compensation received through a lawsuit may help you afford mesothelioma cancer treatment and other expenses.