For decades, Avon has been synonymous with quality cosmetics and personal care products, capturing the hearts of consumers worldwide. However, behind its polished image, are concerning issues of asbestos contamination in its talcum powder products. This has resulted in numerous lawsuits citing serious health risks such as mesothelioma and cancer.

 In 2022, a 76-year-old woman with mesothelioma won $40 million against Avon for causing her rare and aggressive cancer. In addition, she was awarded $10.3 million in punitive damages. As the legal proceedings unfold, the repercussions of Avon’s negligence on public health and trust remain significant.

If you or a loved one have been impacted by Avon’s asbestos-containing talcum powder, contact us today for legal assistance.

Avon Asbestos & Talc Lawsuits

Avon faces a barrage of lawsuits alleging harm caused by asbestos-laden talcum powder in its products. These legal battles have garnered attention due to the potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure, particularly concerning mesothelioma and other cancers.

  • As of 2020, Avon faced almost 130 talcum powder and asbestos lawsuits filed against them from mesothelioma victims looking for compensation. 
  • 2022 – A California jury awarded 76-year-old Rita Chapman $40 million in actual damages and $10.3 million in punitive damages after finding that company management knew the talc posed a cancer risk but failed to warn consumers.

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The History of Avon & Asbestos

Avon, a company founded in 1886, initially made a name for itself through its innovative direct-selling approach and a wide array of beauty products. Over the decades, it grew worldwide, selling its products across the globe. Many of these products included talcum powder, with the main ingredient being talc. Unfortunately, the mineral talc can also contain asbestos, a known carcinogen.

Naturally occurring next to talc, asbestos’s tiny fibers can easily be mined alongside talc, winding up in talcum products such as baby powder, setting powder, lotions, and more. By the 1970s, the correlation between asbestos-containing talcum powder and cancer had become known. In 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association (CTFA) issued voluntary guidelines for asbestos and talcum powder use. Despite these cautions, Avon continued to incorporate talcum powder into its products, seemingly indifferent to the risks associated with asbestos contamination.

The inclusion of talcum powder in Avon’s products continued for decades, contributing to the company’s success while potentially jeopardizing the health of countless consumers. As concerns mounted and regulatory scrutiny intensified, Avon faced increasing pressure to address the issue. In 2020, the company finally ceased the use of talcum powder in its products, marking a pivotal moment in its history.

The decision to discontinue talcum powder usage came amidst heightened public awareness and legal challenges surrounding asbestos-related health risks. As Avon navigated through this chapter in its history, the spotlight turned to entities like Imerys Talc America, a major supplier of talc for cosmetic use, further illuminating the complex dynamics at play within the beauty industry’s supply chain.

Asbestos-containing Talcum Powder in Cosmetic Products

Talcum powder, a common ingredient in cosmetic products, has been linked to asbestos contamination due to its natural mineral composition. Asbestos, when present in talcum powder, poses grave health risks, particularly when inhaled. Studies have shown a correlation between asbestos exposure from talcum powder and mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

Popular Avon talcum powder products that contained asbestos

  • Bird of Paradise Perfumed Talc Powder
  • Imari Perfumed Talc Powder
  • Night Magic Talcum Powder
  • Skin So Soft Satin Talc Powder
  • Unforgettable Perfumed Talc Powder
  • Wild Country Talc Powder
  • Including other Avon products that were discontinued in 2020. 

Demographics Most Affected by Avon

The primary demographic affected by Avon’s asbestos-containing talcum powder is, unfortunately, their most loyal customers. Overextended durations, these consumers of Avon’s talcum powder products may have contracted mesothelioma or other cancers. 

Notably, women who incorporated talcum powder into their feminine hygiene routines face an escalated risk of contracting asbestos-related diseases. Moreover, employees engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of Avon goods could have encountered asbestos exposure throughout production processes.

Avon – Asbestos Investigations and News

In 2022, a California jury granted 76-year-old Rita Chapman $40 million in actual damages and $10.3 million in punitive damages. This decision came after the jury determined that company executives were aware of the cancer risk associated with the talc but neglected to alert consumers.

In 2024, British women, Hannah Fletcher, comes forward about her experience with a peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis and lawsuits against major cosmetic brands, including Avon. 

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Written and legally reviewed by Samuel Meirowitz

Attorney and On-Site Legal Advocate

Samuel Meirowitz is a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers.” Mr. Meirowitz was named a “Rising Star” in 2013 & 2014 by Super Lawyers and then a Super Lawyer every year since 2016. In 2013, Mr. Meirowitz obtained what is believed to be the first multi-million-dollar asbestos verdict seen in more than two decades in a New York federal court. In that highly contentious matter, Mr. Meirowitz was able to convince the jury to hold a boiler manufacturer responsible for 60 percent of the $3.8 million awarded, despite the defendant’s attempt to escape all blame by pointing fingers at the plaintiff’s employer and the U.S. Navy (in which the plaintiff admirably served from 1966-70 during the Vietnam conflict). This verdict was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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