Whereas many countries have banned asbestos outright, the mineral can still be found in many old buildings and in many products here in the U.S. Women are especially at risk for asbestos exposure through the various products that are marketed directly to them. Louisville residents should know that several companies have faced multimillion-dollar lawsuits because of this.

For example, in 2015, Colgate-Palmolive faced claims from customers who developed cancer after using asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products. More than 9,000 lawsuits are pending against Johnson & Johnson for the same problem with its talc products, particularly its baby powder. The company had been aware of this risk since the 1970s and knew that there are safe, non-lethal substitutes for talc, yet it did not act upon this knowledge.

As of 2018, asbestos has been detected in various imported consumer goods like children’s toys, crayons and cosmetics. Asbestos is a carcinogen and the cause behind a rare cancer called mesothelioma. It is also the cause of lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disease and pleural plaque.

From 1999 to 2016, nearly 50,000 Americans died from mesothelioma alone, and 20 percent of them were women. While men are typically exposed to asbestos in the workplace, many women face exposure in the home. Non-occupational exposure is to blame for approximately one-third of all mesothelioma cases.

Those who are exposed to asbestos in the home may be able to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of a contaminated product. They are encouraged to hire an attorney who knows about product liability law and who can take on asbestos-related cases. Such attorneys could bring in third-party investigators and medical experts to strengthen a case with evidence and expert testimony. The attorney can then proceed to negotiate for a settlement out of court, litigating if negotiations fail.