In the latest development in the asbestos-contaminated talc litigation, a Michigan lawmaker introduced a bill (Children’s Product Warning Label Act of 2018) to the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to require a warning on children’s cosmetic products that cautions that talc within the product may be contaminated with asbestos. The bill proposes that the FDA require children’s cosmetics products that contain talc to include a warning unless demonstrated to be asbestos-free.  More specifically, the warning language proposed would read as follows:

 “WARNING: Talc has not been evaluated for asbestos contamination. Asbestos at any level is known to the FDA to cause cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma and may be present in this product. This product is not suitable for use by children.” 

The bill currently sits pending in the Subcommittee on Health with no deadline for the subcommittee to make recommendations. 

The proposed legislation follows an increased level of activity in 2018 with respect to asbestos-contaminated talc claims, which has seen several cases already go to verdict this calendar year. Primarily at issue in the cases is whether tremolite fibers (and other types of fibers) found in samples of talc were asbestos fibers or non-asbestos fibers. The distinction between the two fiber types is complex and relies heavily on scientific principles that both juries and government agencies have grappled with over the years.

The attorneys at CMBG3 Law LLC have represented clients in talc, products liability, and toxic tort matters for many years. We provide the most current advice by staying informed of legal, scientific and medical developments regarding a wide variety of substances and products, including talc-containing products, used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact John Gardella (email him or 617-279-8225).