What’s the Difference Between Talc and Asbestos?

Talc is sometimes confused with asbestos, because of how they look. Asbestos and companies that manufacture asbestos products have been the subject of numerous mass tort suits for many years. That’s because mass tort lawyers and their clients have noticed life-threatening side-effects from the prolonged use of asbestos. As such, they’re claiming compensation for their injuries as the manufacturers didn’t warn about such adverse consequences.

Most of those mass tort claims and lawsuits are from victims who developed their conditions after using talcum powder. The link between talc and asbestos is so close that many people may use them interchangeably. However, talcum powder and asbestos are two different substances, and knowing the difference is essential when filing a talcum powder lawsuit.

So, what’s the difference between talc and asbestos? Will every product containing one also have the other? What side effects will you suffer from using either of the substances? We’ll discuss all you need to know about differentiating talcum powder from asbestos in this article.

Are Talc and Asbestos the Same Thing?

The FDA defines talc as “a naturally occurring mineral, mined from the earth, composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen.” It is a common ingredient in cosmetics because it has a good feel, helps to prevent caking, and is moisture-absorbing. It’s the primary ingredient in talcum powder.

Asbestos is also a naturally occurring mineral. However, it has a significantly different structure from talc and contains heat-resistant fibers. So, it’s an effective insulating material in the construction industry. The two most common categories of asbestos are amphibole and serpentine.

Therefore, these are two different substances and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. However, they’re found close together, and during mining, talcum powder may contain some amount of asbestos and vice-versa.

What Are the Side Effects of Talc and Asbestos?

Generally, talc is safe for human consumption, especially in cosmetics and other personal care products. The problem, however, is asbestos. Asbestos is cancerogenic and is dangerous even in small amounts. It can cause these two life-threatening conditions:

  • Mesothelioma 

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a protective covering for the heart, lungs, abdomen, and testes. Generally, mesothelioma affects more men than women.

When mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs, it can cause shortness of breath, persistent cough, and chest pain. If it affects the abdomen, patients may notice a loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, constipation, and tummy pain. Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma.

  • Ovarian Cancer 

Ovarian cancer is another common side effect of asbestos exposure. It affects the ovaries and can spread to other parts of the body. Like mesothelioma, ovarian cancer has no cure, and thousands of women have died from it.

Ovarian cancer from asbestos-containing talcum powder happens when women apply it to their private parts as a personal hygiene routine. The common symptoms of ovarian cancer include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and abnormal periods.

Everyday Products That May Contain Talc

The following products may contain both of these chemicals:

  • Baby, Face, and Body Powders: Talc is an active ingredient in many baby, face, and body powders. They have a good feel and are great for oily skin.
  • Antiperspirants: Since the chemical absorbs moisture and helps to prevent underarm friction, it’s an active ingredient in many antiperspirants.
  • Some toothpaste, shampoos, and soaps
  • Chewing Gum: Chewing gums may also contain significant amounts.

How to Avoid Using Asbestos  

The dangers of asbestos and how common they are in many everyday products can be a valid cause of concern. However, you can significantly minimize your exposure to asbestos by:

  • Purchasing only asbestos-free brands. However, you must understand that not all brands that claim to be asbestos-free are 100% free from asbestos. So, be sure to read product labels and do your due diligence.
  • Researching brands that have tested for asbestos and avoiding them

Contact the Best Mass Tort Lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel and Stoller Today!

Did you develop mesothelioma or ovarian cancer from years of using talcum powder? If yes, we can only guess how hurt and traumatized you must feel. Both mesothelioma and ovarian cancer are very deadly, and you deserve every support you can get in this challenging time. While pursuing damages may not cure your condition, it can help to know that you made them pay.

So, it would help if you visited a mass tort lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced talcum powder lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel and Stoller are the best attorneys for your case. We’ll ensure that you get maximum compensation for your condition while you focus on your health. Contact us immediately.