A California Court has ruled that a case involving a 70-year-old lady with mesothelioma can finally move forward.
Mary Lyons is filing a lawsuit against manufacturers Colgate-Palmolive for selling talcum powder products contaminated with asbestos.
She and medical professionals believe that these products contributed to her mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mary was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2015.
She claims that she used ‘Cashmere Bouquet body powder’ daily over twenty years and it’s this powder that has contributed to her ill health.
Talc is generally considered as safe to use, but because talc is often found naturally alongside asbestos deposits, it has been known for talcum powder products to become contaminated.
Nowadays, talcum powder has to go through rigorous filtering in order to remove impurities like asbestos.
Back in 2010, tests were carried out and published by the FDA which sampled 34 cosmetic products that contained talc.
The results showed that none of these sampled products contained asabestos.
Even so, asbestos can still find it’s way into consumer products.
Earlier in 2017, children’s clothing and accessories retailer ‘Justice’ were found to be selling eye shadows containing asbestos in their stores.
Asbestos has also been discovered in children’s crayons and fingerprint powder used in toy crime scene investigator kits.
In the period that Mrs Lyons used the talc, there was never any widespread concern over asbestos or it’s effects.
In evidence provided for Mrs Lyons case, a mineralogist testified on her behalf saying that he had found asbestos in samples taken from mines in Montana, North Carolina, and Italy.
These had all supplied Colgate-Palmolive with talc for its cosmetic products.
The case had previously been dismissed by a lower court, but the court of appeals in San Francisco overturned the decision, allowing Mrs Lyons to move forward.
The appeals court, having heard the case, concluded that based on all the evidence provided, it was most possible that use of the Cashmere Bouquet talc by Mrs Lyons over a 20-year period contained asbestos which contributed to her mesothelioma diagnosis.
Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/
Alternatively, to book onto one of our asbestos training courses, please call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/