Study may undermine asbestos-talc connection

A new study questioning the link between talc powder and asbestos may prove to be a weapon that defense attorneys seize upon in lawsuits over the possibility of baby powder causing cancer. The study compares the rates of mesothelioma between urban and rural women. According to Forbes:

The study in the journal Risk Analysis found rural mesothelioma rates actually exceeded urban rates in more than half of the years studied between 1973 and 2012, despite the fact ambient asbestos exposures in urban areas are an order of magnitude higher due to heavy use of asbestos in commercial construction until the 1970s.

You may recall that National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier won a $4.3 billion verdict in July against Johnson & Johnson based on the argument that talc powder contains trace amounts of asbestos. You can read more about how the study may be used in defense of future talc lawsuits at Forbes.