Why is Talc Dangerous?
Talc is a mineral known for its silkiness and odor reduction and is commonly used in everything from baby powder to eye shadow. This naturally occurring substance develops deep in the ground and contains oxygen, magnesium and silicon. Talc is similar in composition to and is commonly contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, making it almost impossible to produce asbestos-free talc. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and the only known cause of the deadly lung cancer mesothelioma.
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Does Talc Cause Cancer?
Studies have established a link between talc use and epithelial ovarian cancer. Talcum powder was aggressively marketed by companies like Johnson & Johnson to be used on the upper thighs, on underwear and on sanitary pads to control moisture and odor. However, this practice can lead to talc crystals becoming embedded in tissue in the ovaries. This can then cause inflammation and eventually cancer. Some studies have said that talcum powder use increases the rise of developing ovarian cancer by 30 percent.
Can Talc Cause Mesothelioma?
Talc and asbestos often co-occur making it nearly impossible for talc to be completely asbestos-free. Asbestos-contaminated talc can be found in all kinds of personal care products including blush and foundation powder. The way these products are applied can easily cause the contained asbestos to become airborne and to be inhaled by the user. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Studies have shown there to be a connection between talc usage and mesothelioma. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
Did Manufacturers Know Talc Was Dangerous?
As early as 1982, Johnson & Johnson knew that talc-containing Baby Powder was dangerous. Even as evidence mounted that talc causes ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson worked to aggressively market the product even more to women with obesity and minority women. Johnson & Johnson never placed a warning on its product even after talc-suppliers began to pass along warnings with its raw talc shipments. Only after multiple lawsuits and public pressure did the company stop selling talc-based products. However, many manufacturers and personal care products continue to use talc to this day.
How We Help Clients With Talc-Based Illnesses
Our law firm has fought on behalf of Hawai‘i women and men who have contracted cancer and mesothelioma from the usage of talc -based products. We filed the first asbestos lawsuit in the state of Hawai‘i and have the resources, experience, and network to successfully hold manufacturers responsible for their negligence. To have one of our attorneys review your case for free, contact us.
L. Richard DeRobertis
Partner & Lead Appellate Lawyer
L. Richard DeRobertis joined the firm in 1983 and serves as the lead appellate lawyer in the firm. Rick has helped to preserve and expand the legal rights of Hawai’i workers, mesothelioma victims and consumers, and represents them in court appeals against manufacturers and large corporations.Meet Rick
Born and raised in Hawai'i, Ilana Waxman joined the Galiher team in 2007 and focuses her practice on clients with mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. She also represents the families of children born with birth defects due to chemical exposures, Hawai'i residents suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma as a result of Roundup exposure, survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and other catastrophic injury cases.Meet Ilana
Born and raised in Hawaii, Allison Aoki attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and Keio University in Tokyo before returning to attend the University of Hawaii for law school. Her practice focuses on representing victims of asbestos disease, pesticide exposure, and other catastrophic injuries. She approaches every case with sensitivity and determination as she works to help local families seek justice.Meet Allison
Alyssa R. Segawa
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Alyssa Segawa’s practice concentrates on asbestos litigation, personal injury, product liability, Roundup litigation, appellate and federal practice matters. She has a particular interest in helping victims of mesothelioma seek justice through the legal system as her grandfather passed away from mesothelioma when she was 16.Meet Alyssa
Peter A. Kraus
Partner Peter Kraus focuses on toxic torts, whistleblower qui tam cases and pharmaceutical litigation. He has tried numerous asbestos, benzene exposure, and pharmaceutical cases including many multimillion-dollar verdicts and is an ardent supporter of consumer and victims’ rights.Meet Peter
Christopher L. Johnson
Chris Johnson represents plaintiffs involved in toxic tort and complex civil matters. He focuses on helping victims achieve justice after suffering catastrophic injuries from dangerous products and toxic substances. This includes people dealing with mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure.Meet Christopher
Victoria M. Chang
Victoria M. Chang, a seasoned trial lawyer, is a dedicated advocate for individuals affected by harmful products and negligent practices. Before joining Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman, she served as a prosecutor for 10 years, specializing in seeking justice for victims of sexual assault, both minors and adults. With a career focused on litigating on behalf of those affected by others' wrongdoing, Victoria brings extensive experience to her role.Meet Victoria
Elizabeth is an experienced litigator specializing in Maui fires impact, asbestos, Roundup cases, and advocating for child sexual abuse victims. As a former deputy prosecutor, Elizabeth served over 10 years handling diverse criminal jury trials. Elizabeth earned her law degree from California Western School of Law and her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.Meet Elizabeth
About Our Founder
Gary O. Galiher
Gary Galiher, the late founder of Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman, began practicing law in 1977 and started his own law firm the following year when he took on the first mesothelioma case in Hawai’i. We are proud to carry on his legacy, his personal commitment and his willingness to take on big organizations and companies on behalf of our clients.
Our Core Values
We take your case personally and put your needs first. That means you will receive individual attention from our attorneys who work as a team. We leverage our vast experience and resources to ensure you get the best possible results, even if that means going to court. No kou pono drives our resolve — everything we do is on your behalf. And at the end of the day, nothing is more important to us than honesty and integrity.
We fearlessly take on large companies on behalf of locals and win. With over $1 billion in recoveries our track record speaks for itself. For decades, we’ve negotiated substantial settlements, obtained successful verdicts at trial and have been successful at appeal.
No Recovery, No Fee
If there’s no recovery in your case, you will not
have to pay a fee. We handle everything on a
The U.S. Never Banned Asbestos. These Workers are Paying the Price.
The stories about the dangers of asbestos exposure are horrifying and all too common: mesothelioma, lung, laryngeal and ovarian cancer, and ultimately death. But despite the well-known risks of the dangerous and deadly carcinogenic fibers, the United States still has not banned asbestos. While dozens of other countries have outlawed asbestos, the United States allows hundreds of tons each year from Brazil to benefit two major chemical companies, OxyChem and Olin Corp. The companies say asbestos is crucial to chlorine production and that their protocols for handling it keep workers safe from exposure. But those workers claim otherwise. More than a dozen former workers from OxyChem’s plant in Niagara Falls, New York, told ProPublica that asbestos dust hung in the air, collected on the beams and light fixtures and built up inches thick. Workers often were without protective suits or masks and the dust collected on their coveralls and boots. The Environmental Protection Agency and Congress accepted the companies’ claims that workers were safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration let the companies into a special program that limited the frequency of inspections at their plants, ProPublica reported. OxyChem declined ProPublica’s requests for an interview. The company said in a...Read More
Recognizing Symptoms of Mesothelioma: The Earlier, The Better
According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually. The current consensus is that mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium or lining of certain internal organs. There are three main types of mesothelioma to watch out for based on the location of the mesothelium affected: pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which attacks the membrane around the stomach; and the last type is located in the lining of the heart, known as pericardial mesothelioma. Each of these forms of mesothelioma has its own targeted set of symptoms to monitor. While mesothelioma may currently be incurable, it is possible to prolong survival and improve patients’ quality of life by managing their symptoms as long as they catch it early enough. The following addresses the types of the cancer and the question, what are the symptoms of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma’s symptoms such as chest pain, painful coughing or trouble swallowing, and shortness of breath can be expected for a disease that specifically affects lung tissue. Pleural mesothelioma may also come with unexplained weight loss, abnormal lumps on the chest area, or even swelling in the face or...Read More
The History of Asbestos: From Discovery to Personal Injury
Asbestos is a well-known toxic substance now, but the origins of its usage date back thousands of years before it was known to cause diseases like mesothelioma. Some countries like the U.S. have continued to use it in a lesser capacity despite this risk. The start of its use in other durable products such as pottery mixes dates back to 2500 B.C. in Finland. However, the first discovery of its toxicity did not come until 61-112 A.D. when an Ancient Roman scholar studied slaves who became ill working the asbestos mines. It would still take another 2,000 years before scientists would connect asbestos and the illness it causes. The revelation of the illness caused by asbestos was not made before the toxic mineral’s introduction to the American industry in 1858 when the Johns Company began mining it for use in insulation. The Industrial Revolution further fueled its production and use throughout North America, noting the first industrial asbestos mine opening in Canada in 1879. It was not until 1918 that the U.S. government would recognize the risk of asbestos shortening the life spans of those who worked with the material. In 1930, the illness known as asbestosis was discovered in...Read More
Mesothelioma 101: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Vs. Mesothelioma
When it comes to lung disease, it can be easy to get confused about the types of cancers and treatments available. However, mesothelioma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are different diseases with different treatment plans, although some symptoms may be similar, and both have been linked to asbestos exposure. What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that typically forms in the lining around the lungs, although it can also form in the tissue surrounding the heart or the abdomen. As with any cancer, it can spread to the lungs and other parts of the body, but it is not considered a lung cancer. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. This cancer develops many years after exposure and has a low survival rate. What Is NSCLC? NSCLC is one of two types of lung cancer. The cancerous cells tend to be larger (as opposed to the cells in small cell lung cancer) and always start in the lungs. There are multiple types of NSCLC, which may dictate different treatment plans. What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma and NSCLC? Both cancers cause breathing symptoms, including: Shortness of breath Persistent cough or coughing up blood Respiratory infections, such...Read More
KHON2: Woman Sues J&J for Mesothelioma Diagnosis
HONOLULU (KHON2) — The attorneys representing a Hawai‘i Island woman diagnosed with mesothelioma are suing Johnson & Johnson and Foodland Super Market, Ltd., for selling talc-based Johnson & Johnson baby powder which was contaminated with asbestos. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer whose only known cause is asbestos exposure. The lawsuit was filed in the First Circuit Court Thursday morning on behalf of Jacqueline Becker who was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in February. “Johnson & Johnson’s own internal testing showed as early as the 1950s that the talcum powder it marketed to women and children was contaminated with asbestos. The company had a responsibility to warn the public, but they failed to do so and now thousands of people are sick,” said Ilana Waxman, managing partner of Galiher DeRobertis & Waxman [and lawyer for Becker]. Watch the KITV4 video coverage here. Read the full article here.Read More
We Can Help
We provide free initial consultations. If you believe you or a loved one has a claim or a potential lawsuit, we are willing to meet with you to evaluate your claim with no obligation on your part. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact us to receive a free initial consultation.