The American Journal of Industrial Medicine has carried out a recent study which confirms a causative link between frequent usage of some cosmetic products contaminated with asbestos, which can then go on to cause its user to develop mesothelioma later in life.

How can talc cause mesothelioma?

Talcum powder is made from talc, a naturally occurring mineral. Talc deposits are frequently found next to asbestos deposits in the ground.

Asbestos exposure can cause various diseases, including mesothelioma. Therefore, it was the purpose of the study to identify whether talc products which have been contaminated with asbestos could directly cause mesothelioma.

The study

The 2020 study examined 75 mesothelioma patients who had used cosmetic talc frequently for decades and had no other known asbestos exposure, having not lived or worked around asbestos.

The findings suggested that there was asbestos in the talcum powder used by the individuals, and further identified a causal link between cosmetic talc and mesothelioma caused by anthophyllite and tremolite contaminants found in the cosmetic powder.

The study concluded that mesothelioma can develop following exposure to cosmetic talcum powders.


Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumour which affects the lining of the lungs. The only known cause for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Even a small amount of exposure can cause the development of mesothelioma.

The delay in experiencing symptoms for the disease can be between 10 and 50 years. This therefore usually means that unfortunately, by the time of diagnosis, the disease will have progressed to a late stage where a prognosis is sadly poor.

How we can help

If you require assistance in pursuing an asbestos compensation claim for mesothelioma or other asbestos disease then please contact us today on our freephone number 0800 038 6767. Alternatively, head over to the ‘Contact Us’ page, complete the form and we will be in touch.


Source: Emory TS, Maddox JC, Kradin RL. “Malignant mesothelioma following repeated exposures to cosmetic talc: A case series of 75 patients”. Am J Ind Med.2020; 1–6.

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