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When most people think of the victims of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses, they tend to think of factory workers, shipyard workers and the like — not ordinary women who were poisoned in their own homes through the use of a common household item. Yet, there are approximately 9,000 lawsuits playing out in courtrooms all over the country, all alleging that Johnson & Johnson put a tainted product in consumers’ hands long after they should have known better.

Critics allege that Johnson & Johnson has gone on the counterattack by trying to discredit the claims of many women altogether. The corporate giant’s position can best be summed up as, “Well, all of these women with mesothelioma probably got the disease from something other than asbestos exposure in the first place.” In other words, all of those women with mesothelioma “just happened” to get the disease.

Despite these assertions, documents that have come to light indicate that Johnson & Johnson knew its popular baby powder and other talc products were contaminated with asbestos way back in the 1970s. The company also knew there were safer alternatives available, such as corn starch. Executives also knew that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos-tainted products that were used in the home for many years and secondary asbestos exposure has caused many women who never worked in any of the industries that are commonly associated with mesothelioma and asbestosis to develop asbestos-related cancers and other diseases. Given that the diseases can take decades to develop, many women — and their doctors — need to be on alert for the possibility that a disease is just beginning to show.

If you have fallen victim to asbestos exposure due to the use of a home product that was allegedly safe, don’t let disinformation dissuade you from filing a claim for compensation. An attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand what courses of action are available to you.