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Colgate-Palmolive settles claim linking asbestos to its talcum-powder

Colgate-Palmolive Co. will avoid going to trial in a New Jersey state courtroom as they agree to settle a lawsuit linking asbestos to its talcum-powder.

Carol Schoeniger, a Pennsylvania woman filed a lawsuit against the New York-based company claiming its talcum-powder caused her to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The financial terms of the settlement have not been made public.

This is not the first claim that talc users have made against the brand. Colgate-Palmolive has resolved 43 cases and is currently facing 170 cases in which accusers allege they were sold asbestos-laced powder.

Are you familiar with asbestos?

Exposure to asbestos is extremely dangerous. Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that naturally form as bundles of fiber. These fibers are flexible, do not conduct electricity and are heat resistant.

Until the early 1970s, the U.S. commonly used asbestos in the shipbuilding, construction and automotive industries. As health concerns began to rise, the use of asbestos started to decline. The U.S. ceased all asbestos mining operations in 2002, but it is still imported for use today.

What is asbestos used for today?

While the use of asbestos has dramatically decreased over the last several decades, it continues to be used in a few commercial products. Asbestos fibers can be found in brake pads, automobile clutches, corrugated sheeting and roofing materials.

How is talc-powder getting contaminated with asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that can often be found in talc deposits, so it’s possible to assume where the contamination came from. However, the spokesperson for Imery Talc America (who distributes to Colgate-Palmolive) had no immediate comment following the settlement.

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