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Woman blames mesothelioma on Johnson & Johnson baby powder

South Carolina consumers trust companies to provide safe and effective products. When these expectations are violated, an individual's safety, health and well-being may be at risk. An out-of-state woman is currently seeking $28 million from Johnson & Johnson, claiming that baby powder contaminated with asbestos caused her to develop mesothelioma. 

The woman claims that she used Johnson & Johnson brand baby powder for around 40 years. Testing of one of her bottles of baby powder revealed that there were 25,000 fibers of asbestos in every gram of talc powder. This amounted to 6 million individual fibers in a single bottle. Her suit alleges that she was routinely exposed to this asbestos over the course of her decades of use, which ultimately caused her cancer. 

Lawsuit claims apartment complex knew about asbestos exposure

South Carolina workers are at particular risk for exposure to the deadly asbestos, especially when clearing away debris from work sites. An out-of-state crew claims that they were knowingly subjected to asbestos exposure when an apartment complex repeatedly denied the existence of the toxic substance. At least two former workers are now suing the complex. 

The apartment complex apparently hired the construction crew to remodel multiple units. Workers successfully remodeled five apartments when they found a substance they believed was asbestos. The lawsuit claims that complex's president allegedly became enraged when approached with their concerns, and ordered them to return to work. Days later, three workers were fired because of concerns they might report the situation to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

Pathologist testifies during victim's mesothelioma lawsuit

Baby powder was once largely comprised of talc, a substance that is frequently contaminated with asbestos. In the past, this type of talc baby powder was a commonly-used substance by many in South Carolina, and now some residents may be developing devastating health consequences. Exposure to asbestos is known to cause the deadly cancer mesothelioma. 

A pathology expert recently testified in an out-of-state courtroom on behalf of a woman suing Johnson & Johnson. Her suit claims that the company's talc-based baby powder caused her to develop mesothelioma, which leaves victims with an average life expectancy of about two years. It is generally accepted that it takes about 10 years from the time of exposure to the development of mesothelioma tumors. 

EPA ignores those most at risk for mesothelioma

Analyzing the potential of asbestos exposure for high-risk workers is essential for keeping them safe on the job. Unfortunately, those who are most likely to encounter asbestos will be left out of the Environmental Protection Agency's new risk analysis strategy. Leaving these workers out of the equation could put more people in South Carolina at risk for developing mesothelioma, a deadly cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. 

Legacy asbestos is a serious problem for firefighters, electricians, plumbers, roofers and other blue-collar workers. This toxic substance was once commonly used as an insulator and for other building projects, so when it comes time to replace old tiling or tear down walls, the fibers can easily end up in the air. Inhaling those fibers can have serious medical consequences. Although the EPA is currently looking at the ongoing use of asbestos and other toxic chemicals, it says it will not consider the risks associated with legacy asbestos, blue collar workers or the ways in which new uses might hurt these people. 

Suffering from mesothelioma? Your employer might be to blame

The narrative around asbestos is fraught with corporate interests and influence. Before the public understood the associated risks, many corporations were fully aware of the dangers but chose to conceal that information. Even now, some South Carolina businesses limit the information they give their employees about asbestos. For them, it is all about minimizing the chance that they will have to pay compensation. But for workers, it is a potential for developing mesothelioma. 

In many ways, asbestos seems like an ideal substance. It is lightweight and durable, and it is also extremely resistant to changes from chemicals or heat. These seemingly wondrous properties made it a popular addition to many products, including insulation, drywall, car parts, fireproofing products and more. However, once businesses realized the serious health implications of asbestos, they should have discontinued its use and provided adequate information to their workers. Unfortunately, this never happened. 

New device could detect asbestos in the air

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Asbestos is a material that cannot be seen or smelled, but that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Asbestos wreaks havoc on the human body. Individuals who were exposed to asbestos decades ago may go on to develop mesothelioma later in life, a deadly form of cancer that typically affects the outer lining of the lungs. Asbestos exposure can cause other diseases, as well.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to detect asbestos. Individuals may be exposed to asbestos in the workplace or in areas where asbestos is naturally occurring.

Welder blames former employer for asbestos exposure

Working with or around asbestos is dangerous, and South Carolina employers should always be certain that they provide workers with the proper safety gear, training and knowledge to do so safely. Sadly, many workplaces conceal this type of important information, leaving workers in the dark about their situation. Many are not even aware that they experienced asbestos exposure until they develop the deadly health effects. 

An out of-state-man is suing his former employer, blaming the company for his current sickness. Starting in 1965, he spent 40 years working for the company Irby's Steel. He left the company in 2005, and in 2016 received his diagnosis -- lung cancer. And not just any lung cancer, but one that is linked to asbestos exposure

Back-to-school shopping with a side of asbestos exposure?

Back-to-school time is an exciting period for parents and children alike. South Carolina families are usually focused on clothes shopping and buying new supplies in the weeks leading up to the start of the new term. Few, however, have asbestos exposure on the mind.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund -- a consumer advocacy group -- tests school supplies, looking for possible toxins or carcinogens that could be dangerous to children. This year, it found asbestos in one brand of crayons. Playskool crayons are sold at a variety of retailers and are a popular choice for parents who are shopping for supplies.

Should I be worried about one-time asbestos exposure?

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Most people are aware of the dangers of asbestos. And most people would be justifiably concerned if they were exposed to asbestos.

This is what happened after a steam pipe exploded in New York City's Flatiron District in July. Asbestos was found in the lining of the pipes that exploded.

Parents worried about asbestos exposure at school

South Carolina parents have hundreds of worries when they send their children to school, like are they receiving a good education? Are they making friends? Do they have enough to eat? Rarely do parents have to worry about asbestos exposure in their child's school, but that is exactly what some out-of-state parents are dealing with right now.

In March 2017, workers removed asbestos contaminated ceiling tiles at a charter school for nearly a week. For the first six days of the project, this work went on during school hours while children were present. After that the tiles were only removed after students were dismissed. However, parents were never notified of the removal or given the option to keep their children home for the duration of the work.

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