Southern California resident Paul Garcia, 67, lives with mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer. He attributes his diagnosis from exposure to asbestos in Cashmere Bouquet,a scented floral-fragrance body powder manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive.
Garcia used products such as Cashmere Bouquet and Mennen’s Baby Powder for decades. They both contain talcum powder, a fine substance used in many cosmetic and personal hygiene products. Talc is a soft, silicate mineral that is mined from the ground. It is similar to asbestos, another silicate mineral, and the two are often found together in mineral deposits.
Cashmere Bouquet was found to have contained up to 20 percent asbestos until the 1970s. Dr. Arthur Rohl tested the product in 1976 and found that it contained 8 to 20 percent asbestos fibers. In 1976, he stated in the New York Times that, “Asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a chest and abdominal cancer, and can also result in the scarring of lung tissue and gastro‐intestinal difficulties.”
Garcia claimed in his talcum powder lawsuit that Colgate-Palmolive and Mennen failed to adequately warn consumers that the powder contained asbestos and could cause cancer.
The company has vehemently denied the charges but a settlement was reached on the eve before it went to trial for an undisclosed amount.
Mesothelioma from asbestos is an aggressive form of cancer that can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to manifest. The fine fibers look like bundles of needles and cause low-level inflammation of the lungs.
Signs of mesothelioma are:
- Persistent cough
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Painful breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Fluid buildup
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Other companies such as Johnson & Johnson, face similar lawsuits that baby powder products contained asbestos.