COMPAS.com – Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder globally by 2023.
“As part of the evaluation of our global portfolio, we have made the business decision to transition to a cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” the company said in a statement. CNASaturday (13/8/2022).
In 2020, the company announced that it would stop selling baby products in the United States and Canada, due to declining demand following a series of consumer lawsuits.
Some 38,000 lawsuits have been filed by consumers and survivors claiming the company’s talc products cause cancer through contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
The company denies the claims, saying decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown talc to be safe and asbestos-free.
So what is carcinogenic asbestos?
Launch American Cancer SocietyAsbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally in the form of fiber bundles. These fibers are found in soil and rocks in many parts of the world.
Most asbestos is made up of silicon and oxygen, but it also contains other elements. There are two main types that have been linked to cancer, as follows:
Chrysotile asbestos or white asbestos is the most widespread type of asbestos in the industrial world.
With the help of a microscope, the fibers of chysotile asbestos wind up in a spiral, which is why this form of asbestos is called serpentine or crimped asbestos.
Amphibole asbestos fibers are straight like needles. Several types of amphibole fibers such as amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, actionolite and anthophyllite.
Asbestos causes cancer
People can be exposed to asbestos by inhaling asbestos fibers in the air or by ingesting asbestos fibers when consuming contaminated food or drink.
Exposure to asps has been shown to increase the risk of several types of cancer, as evidenced by studies in humans and laboratory animals.
When airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can stick to mucus in the throat, trachea or bronchi and can be cleared by coughing or swallowing.
Some of the fibers are able to reach the ends of the small airways in the lungs or enter the outer wall of the lungs and chest wall.
These fibers can irritate cells in the lungs or pleura, eventually causing lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Also read: Early symptoms of lung cancer, what are they?
Mesothelioma is a fairly rare form of cancer that most commonly affects the thin lining of the organs in the chest (pleura) and abdomen (peritoneum).
Mesothelioma is closely linked to exposure to asbestos. All forms of asbestos have been associated with mesothelioma, although amphibole asbestos appears to cause this cancer at lower exposure levels than chrysotile asbestos.
Even so, studies have shown that asbestos can also cause laryngeal cancer, pharyngeal cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and ovarian cancer.
In addition to cancer, asbestos can cause a lung disease called asbestosis, the main symptoms of which are coughing and shortness of breath.
When a person inhales high levels of asbestos from time to time, some of the fibers go deep into the lungs.
The irritation caused by these fibers can eventually cause scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in the lungs, which can make it difficult to breathe.
Also read: 10 deadliest types of cancer, what are they?
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