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The recent lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have raised the issue of what and when talcum powder manufacturers knew about the presence of asbestos in their products and what they did or did not do to protect the public. Low-level exposure to asbestos in talc is said to result in either mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has claimed that there was "no detectable asbestos" in their products and that any possible incidental presence was too small to act as a carcinogen. But what exactly does "nondetected" mean? Here, we examine the historical development of the argument that asbestos in talcum powder was "nondetected." We use a unique set of historical documents from the early 1970s, when low-level pollution of talc with asbestos consumed the cosmetics industry. We trace the debate over the Food and Drug Administration's efforts to guarantee that talc was up to 99.99% free of chrysotile and 99.9% free of amphibole asbestos. Cosmetic talc powder manufacturers, through their trade association, pressed for a less stringent methodology and adopted the term "nondetected" rather than "asbestos-free" as a term of art. Published online ahead of print May 16, 2019; e1-e6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305085).
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: American journal of public health
Easily available commercial Indian talc products widely used in Southeast Asia were examined for the presence of asbestos. Asbestos in talc products carry all risks of asbestos-related disease.
Over time, concerns have been raised regarding the potential for human exposure and risk from asbestos in cosmetic-talc-containing consumer products. In 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FD...
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A generic term for a variety of compounds that contain silicon, oxygen, and magnesium, and may contain hydrogen. Examples include TALC and some kinds of ASBESTOS.
Asbestos, grunerite. A monoclinic amphibole form of asbestos having long fibers and a high iron content. It is used in insulation. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
A class of asbestos that includes silicates of magnesium, iron, calcium, and sodium. The fibers are generally brittle and cannot be spun, but are more resistant to chemicals and heat than ASBESTOS, SERPENTINE. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)
A type of asbestos that occurs in nature as the dihydrate of magnesium silicate. It exists in two forms: antigorite, a plated variety, and chrysotile, a fibrous variety. The latter makes up 95% of all asbestos products. (From Merck Index, 11th ed, p.893)
A lavender, acid-resistant asbestos.
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Top 10 biotech and pharmaceutical companies worldwide based on market value in 2015 2015 ranking of the global top 10 biotech and pharmaceutical companies based on revenue (in billion U.S. dollars) Johnson & Johnson, U.S. 74...
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