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UK citizens bringing legal claims in the US relating to possible asbestos exposure through talcum powder

A number of UK citizens have approached law firm Leigh Day for help to bring legal action after developing mesothelioma which they allege happened after exposure to asbestos in talcum powder products.

Talcum powder

21 October 2019

Leading asbestos claims lawyer Harminder Bains and the asbestos team at Leigh Day have been investigating the matter and are representing a number of individuals, both male and female, with the fatal disease. One client is a 45-year-old woman whose mother used talcum powder on her as a baby when her nappy was changed, and who continued to use the product on her young daughter after bathing.  She, and other women represented by Harminder, allege that they have also been exposed to asbestos via cosmetic powder products such as eye shadow.

Harminder is acting as co-counsel in these cases which means she is working with US lawyers to help bring the claims in the US. The cases are being brought against a number of US manufacturers of powder products.

The claims cannot be heard in UK courts at the moment.

On 18th October Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after regulators found trace elements of asbestos in a bottle of talcum powder.  Exposure to asbestos is the only cause of the fatal lung cancer mesothelioma.

In the US Johnson & Johnson has faced a number of claims from people alleging harm from the baby powder, including a $4.6 billion settlement to 22 women and their families after the claimed asbestos in the power contributed to their ovarian cancer. 

The NHS has advised that research on links between the use of talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer means that women who are concerned should stop using talc.

Harminder Bains, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, who has specialised in asbestos claims for over 25 years, said:

“It is clear that people in the UK are increasingly alarmed by reports from the US that talc products have been recalled due to traces of asbestos and that links to cancer have allegedly been found. We know that even small amounts of asbestos can cause asbestos-related illnesses which are fatal.

“While we are unable to bring claims in the English courts for UK citizens who allege that they have developed serious illnesses after exposure to asbestos in talcum powder and cosmetic powder products, we can help them to bring claims in the US by working with lawyers in the United States.”

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