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Image of powder makeup and brushes, representing some of the everyday products people use that have been known to cause asbestos-related diseases because of the asbestos found in talc.

In recent years, there has been rising controversy over the discovery of asbestos in talc. You may be wondering whether you should avoid talcum powder or if you should assume you are at risk for an asbestos-related disease if you’ve been exposed to products containing talc. What is the truth about asbestos found in talc?

Facts About Asbestos Found in Talc Products

One fact that is not debated among experts is that many talc mines also contain asbestos. Geologically, asbestos and talc can form next to each other naturally. However, not every talc deposit is contaminated with asbestos. Whether talc products contain asbestos depends largely on where the talc is mined.

Is Asbestos Found in Talc?

Some talc is found to be contaminated with a form of asbestos known as tremolite. Tremolite is related to the one of the most carcinogenic varieties of asbestos, the amphibole group. Both tremolite and talc are created by the same geological processes, so it is not surprising that they are often formed next to each other underground.

Asbestos and Talc Products

The connection between asbestos and talc went undetected for years, resulting in the manufacture and distribution to the public of many products containing asbestos fibers.

Industrial talc has been used in the manufacture of a variety of products such as clay, chalk, ink, crayons, paper, pottery, and sinks. The existence of asbestos in talc is acknowledged and rarely a problem in industrial applications. Nevertheless, factory workers who have been exposed to industrial talc during the manufacturing process are among those at risk of asbestos-related diseases.

The discovery of asbestos in talcum powder and other personal hygiene products is one of latest asbestos controversies in the news. Companies have been promoting talcum powder for cosmetic uses since the late 1800s. Because of its ability to alleviate skin irritations such as chafing and diaper rash, talc has been a staple product found in almost every American household for many years. The dangers of asbestos found in talc wasn’t discovered until the late 1970s, which means that the number of consumers that have been exposed to talc is unknown and nearly impossible to determine.

Due to increased consumer awareness of asbestos exposure through talcum powder and cosmetics, many manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, have been named in lawsuits throughout the country. Because of the latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases, many people who used the contaminated products before 1970 may just now be developing symptoms.

Where to Turn if You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos in Talc

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition due to exposure while working in talc mines, working in industrial factories, or by simply being a consumer of talc products, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm today. They’ve been successfully representing clients in asbestos-related matters for years and will put their expertise to work for you. Call 1.866.342.1929 or complete the online form for your free case evaluation.

Photo of family in danger because the Trump administration refused an asbestos ban, likely leading to more unnecessary diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis.

The rate of mesothelioma cases has declined significantly since the 1990s. Currently, there are roughly 3,000 new diagnoses of mesothelioma in the U.S. each year. The sharp decline of cases is due to the restrictions on asbestos use and protections for workers. Despite the great strides made in worker safety due to these laws and regulations, however, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have refused an asbestos ban.

Why the EPA Refused an Asbestos Ban and Impacts It Will Have

Asbestos is a material that was used often in manufacturing and construction in the mid-1900s. The material is great for insulation and structural protections, including keeping buildings safe from the spread of fire. However, the chemicals that make up asbestos can lead to cancer in people who are exposed to it.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos is most dangerous when it is broken down or damaged. Once the material is damaged, chemical fibers from the asbestos can get into the air and expose people to the well-known carcinogen.

Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a cancer that is generally found in the lung tissue and in other areas of the trunk of the body. Once asbestos fibers are inhaled, they travel to the pleura, which often results in inflammation and scarring. Damage to the cells’ DNA and uncontrolled cell growth can occur because of the scarring. If swallowed, asbestos fibers can reach the lining of abdomen and play a role in causing peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma does not have a favorable survival rate. An asbestos ban could help protect people from the exposures of asbestos fibers by eliminating any new uses of the material in manufacturing or construction. The EPA and Trump administration refused an asbestos ban that could help to prevent thousands of deaths and countless illnesses and suffering by victims and their families.

Where Can Asbestos Be Found?

Asbestos was commonly used in construction, manufacturing, and shipbuilding. It was used to insulate homes, schools, and commercial buildings. The health risks of exposure to asbestos was unknown when the product was first being used; therefore, there was no need to monitor the use of the product.

Currently, the EPA doesn’t know how much asbestos contamination exists within the U.S. In addition to refusing an asbestos ban, the EPA has also decided that it will not examine where asbestos currently exists or where there are potentially high risks of asbestos exposure to the community.

If the Trump Administration Refused an Asbestos Ban, What Does This Mean for the Future?

Once the dangers of asbestos exposure were discovered, the use of asbestos material declined, and many companies stopped using it all together. Rates of deadly asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma have declined since the 1990s because of this shift.

The EPA refusing an asbestos ban means that we will not be able to determine who is at greatest risk of exposure. It means that restrictions will be removed on the use of asbestos and could potentially lead to an increased use of asbestos in construction. An increase in use of asbestos will likely mean an increase of asbestos exposure and a significant increase in mesothelioma cancers caused by that exposure.

The Trump Administration refused an asbestos ban, but that doesn’t mean that the risks of asbestos exposure can be refused. The attorneys at Nemeroff Law Firm are well aware of the dangers of increasing the use of asbestos. They have over 150 years of collective experience fighting to help victims of asbestos exposure. If you have been exposed to asbestos fibers, they will fight to recover what you and your loved ones deserve. Contact them at 866-342-1929 or via email.

A photo of an old factory representing the asbestos-filled workplace of the plaintiffs in Tooey v. AK Steel and how the lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm helped these mesothelioma victims and are ready to put that experience to work for you.

Do you worry that your asbestos exposure was too long ago to bring a lawsuit in the Keystone State? If so, you need to talk with the mesothelioma attorneys who played a major role in changing Pennsylvania law. In November 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down Tooey v. AK Steel. This decision found that two workers and their executors were not barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) from filing legal claims against their employers for occupational disease that manifested more than 300 weeks after the employment ended.

Workers’ Compensation, Legal Claims, and Tooey v. AK Steel

While analyzing the PA ruling in Tooey, there are several issues to unpack including:

  • Theory Behind the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act
  • Exclusivity Provision of the WCA
  • Impact on Workers Suffering From Mesothelioma

The court evaluated each of these points before determining that the WCA did not bar the claim in Tooey.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

The Workers’ Compensation Act is intended to ensure that employers are compensating their workers for earnings lost due to their work-related injuries. Employer compensation for these injuries is considered a cost of doing business.

In theory, workers’ compensation laws are more efficient than a system in which workers file individual lawsuits against employers for compensation due to on-the-job injuries. Under the WCA, workers receive compensation faster and without the added burden of dealing with the legal system. In exchange for a quicker result, a worker may not sue the employer in court to recover compensation for work-related injuries. “Injuries” include actual injuries and occupational diseases.

The Facts of Tooey v. AK Steel

Tooey v. AK Steel Corporation involved claims regarding two former employees of different companies. The employees, John Tooey and Spurgeon Landis, had been exposed to asbestos at work but had stopped working for their employers in 1982 and 1992 respectively. Tooey was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2007. He died less than one year later. Landis contracted mesothelioma in July 2007.

To fall under the definition of an “injury” under Pennsylvania law—77 Pa.C.S. Section 411 or Section 301(c)(1)—the event must occur within 300 weeks or approximately five years and nine months after the last date of employment. Like many workers exposed to asbestos, both Tooey and Landis were diagnosed years after the 300-week period. It can take 20 to 40 years for mesothelioma symptoms to manifest.

Because Tooey and Landis were diagnosed well beyond 300 months, the court held that their claims were not covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Specifically, they were not bound by the exclusivity clause 77 Pa.C.S. Section 481or Section 303(a). This meant that they could file their lawsuits in court rather than being stuck with the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Tooey v. AK Steel: The Employers’ Positions

Tooey’s and Landis’ former employers argued that the 300-week time period was for the purpose of limiting the money damages employers would have to pay out for injuries and not to limit the jurisdiction of the act. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania disagreed, finding that the intention of the Pennsylvania General Assembly when enacting the WCA was to benefit injured workers.

The court in the Tooey case went on to say that, in the case of workers affected by mesothelioma, the original underlying purpose of the WCA could not be met. If the court adopted the employers’ reading of the WCA, a worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma more than 300 weeks after employment would be barred from recovering any compensation at all.

The Nemeroff Law Firm Can Help

If your situation is similar to the facts of Tooey v. AK Steel, you need experienced asbestos lawyers who understand complicated laws and will fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Look no further than the attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm. They helped John Tooey’s family, and they may be able to help you, too. For more information or for a free consultation, complete our online contact form or call us at 866-342-1929.

Nemeroff Law Firm uses this photo of children in a classroom to represent the contrast between what we think our children are getting at school, a safe education, versus what they could be getting, asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools.

Most American citizens think asbestos exposure is a thing of the past, but it is all too current a concern. Buildings from asbestos’ heyday age containing asbestos fibers that have long remained “safely” tucked away, are now leading to concerns about asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools and in other schools all over the country.

Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary: Facts

In 2018, Olney Elementary School learned there were asbestos fibers on a frequently used hallway, and it claimed to have sent an environmental team to address the issue. Philadelphia reporters recently conducted an investigation of 19 of the district’s “more run-down” schools and discovered that Olney’s asbestos problem had actually increased, from 8.5 million fibers per square centimeter to 10.7 million.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the amount of asbestos fibers found at Olney was “more than 100 times higher than the level that health experts say is cause for alarm.”

How Dangerous is Asbestos in PA Schools?

Asbestos is not like other breathable hazards; you don’t realize you’ve inhaled it because it causes no irritation or symptoms at the time of exposure.  Because there is no designated safe amount of asbestos, breathing in any asbestos fibers could lead to life-threatening mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases later in life. The amount of fibers and length of exposure increase the chances of developing a disease.

It is commonly believed that workers in construction trades are the only people who need to be concerned about asbestos exposure, but when you have deteriorating buildings releasing asbestos fibers into areas where people work and learn, anyone in the building is at risk.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that usually shows no symptoms until it is too late to treat, and it is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Cancer usually forms decades after exposure, and awareness of the exposure and preventative testing are crucial to increase the chance of surviving mesothelioma.

Asbestos Exposure in Pennsylvania Elementary Schools Ignored

After the first report at Olney Elementary School, the district secured a metal jacket on a pipe in one of the problem areas of the school to reduce the chance of it shedding asbestos fibers. Even when the district spokesman, Lee Whack, was informed about the increase in asbestos at Olney, he only responded to say he would look at the areas mentioned in the report.

Have decision-makers in the school district addressed asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools adequately? The education budget is reportedly strapped, resulting in repairs being put off and only partially completed. Large amounts of asbestos remain in the school, and have shown a notable increase in a very short, four-month period.

What to Do About Asbestos Fibers Found in Pennsylvania Schools

Schools built before 1981 contain asbestos, and some built since then do as well. That means any school may contain loose asbestos fibers, and many of the older schools contain extremely high amounts.

What steps can you take if asbestos exposure in Pennsylvania elementary schools has affected your family? Learn about the conditions at your child’s school, speak out about an asbestos ban and improving funding to school systems, and contact Nemeroff Law Firm.  We are mesothelioma attorneys who can help determine if you have a case for individual compensation or a class action lawsuit. You can reach us at 1-866-342-1929 or through the form on our contact page.

An image of a set of human lungs, representing the question, “Is mesothelioma always fatal?” and how the Nemeroff Law Firm can help.

Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare, but serious cancer that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and fever, among other symptoms. The answer to the question “Is mesothelioma always fatal?” depends on many factors, such as age, overall health, and the stage of the cancer.

As treatment options have advanced, some studies have indicated that survival rates might be improving. Mesothelioma prognosis and surgical options are better in the early stages of the disease. However, this form of cancer is quite often identified in the later stages. The majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma live less than five years after the initial diagnosis.

Common Questions About an Uncommon Illness: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest. The vast majority of cases are caused by exposure to asbestos. Many of these exposures occur on job sites decades before the disease is diagnosed.

Is mesothelioma curable? The simple answer is yes. Unfortunately, in most cases, a cure—or even a long-term recovery—is very unlikely. However, armed with knowledge and resources, you and your family can better understand mesothelioma and the many questions which surround it.

Types of Mesothelioma and Your Mesothelioma Prognosis

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is the most common form of mesothelioma. There are three primary sub-classifications of MPM:

  • Epithelioid
  • Sarcomatoid
  • Biphasic

The outlook for victims with epithelioid mesothelioma is more promising than those suffering from sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.

The stage of the disease is also an important factor in your mesothelioma prognosis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the only form of mesothelioma with a formal staging system. The stages run from IA – IV (one A – four). These stages reflect the progression of the disease from isolated and operable to widespread and inoperable. A patient diagnosed with stage IA has a much better prognosis than that of an individual in the later stages of the illness (though many other factors contribute to your overall mesothelioma prognosis).

Survival Rates: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?

Survival rates tell us the percentage of individuals with a disease who lived for a specified period of time after diagnosis (two years or five years, for example). They can help to answer the question “Is mesothelioma fatal?”

At stage IA, the two-year survival rate is 46% and the five-year survival rate is 16%. When the disease has progressed to stage IV, the two-year survival rate drops to 17% and the five-year rate to less than 1%. These survival rates underscore the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in mesothelioma cases.

Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal? What to Ask Your Doctor

Survival rates provide a guide or an estimate, but each case of mesothelioma is different. You should discuss your specific situation in-depth with an experienced physician. The majority of doctors have not handled many of these cases and will refer you to a specialist.

Once you find the right physician, it is important that you establish a good relationship and ask the right questions. The American Cancer Society has prepared a list of questions to ask and also provides other resources, information, and assistance that can be very helpful to mesothelioma patients and their families.

Your Mesothelioma Prognosis and Finding the Help You Need

In addition to the resources mentioned above, the American Cancer Society and other organizations often provide help with lodging, transportation, and other issues related to your treatment. Hospitals and providers offer additional services that can be helpful, as well.

If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Our attorneys will handle the details of your case so you can focus on your personal well-being and that of your family.

Is mesothelioma always fatal? When a question like this looms in your mind, you and your family should not have to worry about finances and recovering losses from those responsible for your illness. Contact the Nemeroff Law Firm today for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Reach us by phone at 866-342-1929 or complete our online form now.