Their research also showed that even though talc may contain only a small amount of asbestos, when a person applies it, those asbestos fibers linger in the air, usually right in the person’s breathing zone, longer than the talc does.

Justin Shrader, a Houston lawyer who handles mesothelioma cases, said “many of the cosmetics that we have recently had analyzed have had asbestos material,” so some women have been exposed to asbestos daily as they applied their makeup.

Shrader described a male client whose mesothelioma presented a mystery to both his physicians and lawyers.

“The source of his illness was a mystery because to his knowledge he was never exposed to asbestos anywhere,” he said.

Finally, Shrader’s team figured out that his client, a barber, brushed talc on his customers’ necks every hour of every day he worked.

“Just as shockingly, he was probably exposing every person whose hair he cut to asbestos fibers, to say nothing of his co-workers,” Shrader said. Read more