The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a Draft Asbestos Risk Evaluation that will keep Americans at severe risk of deadly exposure to asbestos according to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.
The ADAO, an independent nonprofit dedicated to preventing exposure to asbestos through education, advocacy, and community initiatives, issued a press release critical of the EPA’s recent attempt to relax regulation and oversight regarding asbestos use. The U.S. continues to import tons of asbestos each year, although much of the public assumes that asbestos use is banned in the United States as it is across over 70 industrialized countries. The ADAO and others have advocated for a total ban on asbestos use, urging the EPA to adopt the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 20th Century Act, and for Congress to pass the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act. Nevertheless, the EPA’s Draft Asbestos Risk Evaluation does the opposite. The ADAO press release observes that the new EPA evaluation is a big step backward from the decades of work by governmental scientists.
The ADAO highlights an event it sponsored where several experts in asbestos disease and other interested parties spoke out against the EPA Draft Asbestos Risk Evaluation. Among those experts, L. Christine Oliver, an asbestos disease expert who has been invited to testify before Congress and OSHA, commented that the EPA draft evaluation underestimates and understates the true risk posed by asbestos. Dr. Oliver notes that the EPA draft only considers the impact of one of six different types of asbestos fiber. It fails to use the validated and accepted statistical model for evaluating the impact of dose – the amount of exposure – to a carcinogen like asbestos. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recognizes there is no safe level of exposure to a carcinogen. It is well known that asbestos causes the cancer mesothelioma. Dr. Oliver also noted that the EPA ignored the impact of several asbestos-related diseases and cancers including mesothelioma, as well as multiple scientific studies that have helped define risk. Finally, Dr. Oliver noted that the current EPA draft evaluation pushed off consideration of “legacy” asbestos, asbestos products in place that were installed years ago. Legacy asbestos poses the greatest risk to the greatest number of Americans and must be addressed.
The ADAO and the doctors and scientists who support an America safe from the asbestos hazard created through the twentieth century are shining a light on the current Administration’s efforts to roll back what progress has been made. The ADAO is a strong advocate for the total ban on asbestos as the only way to ensure the greatest protection from its hazards. You can read the entire ADAO press release and the comments of various experts by clicking this link.
Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is withdrawing all talc baby powder products that are sold in the United States and Canada from the market. J&J, the world’s largest maker of health care products, faces thousands of lawsuits alleging that the talc in its powders caused cancer.
The company says that demand for its talc-based powders is declining, and blames that change in consumer habits on what it calls “misinformation around the safety of the product“. Investigations published by Reuters and The New York Times in 2018 showed that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc contained asbestos, a cancer risk, for four decades.
While Johnson & Johnson has claimed that the talc it sold was asbestos-free, internal company documents show that Johnson & Johnson received many reports over the years, starting in 1971, that its talc contained asbestos. Although J&J never turned the many reports they received over to the FDA or any other governmental regulatory agency, internally the company’s doctors, lawyers, scientists, mine managers, and executives discussed the asbestos problem.
There are approximately 19,400 cases pending against Johnson & Johnson nationwide claiming using J&J talc products caused cancer, including baby powder and Shower to Shower powder. There are two cancers that have been linked to talc powder: ovarian cancer, thought to be related to using talc powder for feminine hygiene purposes, and mesothelioma, a type of cancer related to exposure to asbestos.
Over one billion dollars in verdicts have been issued against Johnson & Johnson in trials of these talc cancer cases. There have been 15 trial verdicts issued against J&J; they have successfully defended 12 trials, and 7 resulted in mistrials. All of those trial wins were appealed and some of those appeals have been successful.
Johnson & Johnson has a cornstarch baby powder on the market, which will continue to be sold. Retailers will be allowed to sell the remaining Johnson & Johnson talc powder products that are in stock. J&J also plans to continue to sell talc baby powder to the rest of the world.
Women who use talcum powder are recommended to switch to arrowroot, cornstarch, or any other non-talc powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after using talc powder, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential, no-charge consultation. Thornton Law Firm has represented victims of asbestos exposure for 40 years. Call 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a thorough, comprehensive evaluation of your legal rights. If you have developed cancer and believe your cancer is related to your use of baby powder or other talc powder, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Do not delay seeking legal advice.