Johnson & Johnson Talc-Based Baby Powder Discontinued in US and Canada After Thousands of Lawsuits
In May 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced the company would be ending sales of its talc-based baby powder products in the United States and Canada. The company faces over 19,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors who claim its talc products have caused cancer due to asbestos contamination.
Companies Have Known for Decades About Asbestos Contamination in Their Talc Products
A Reuters examination of Johnson & Johnson internal documents showed that the company kept information about asbestos contamination in its talc products hidden from both regulators and consumers. The news organization reported in 2018 that the company did not disclosed to the FDA that at least three different tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in talc and in one case, the levels reported were “rather high.”
Over 170 Nonprofit Groups Call for Johnson & Johnson to Stop Worldwide Talc Powder Sales
Reuters reported in July 2020 that over 170 nonprofit groups have called for Johnson & Johnson to stop selling its talc-based baby powder worldwide, citing concerns of cancer-causing asbestos in its talc-based powder. The groups included educational institutions such as Emory University and activist groups such as Greenpeace. The nonprofits also appealed to J&J to recall existing inventory in North America.
Johnson & Johnson Recalled 33K Bottles of Asbestos-Contaminated Baby Powder
In October 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of its baby powder after the Food and Drug Administration discovered evidence of asbestos, a known carcinogen. This was the first time the company pulled its baby powder from store shelves over asbestos concerns.
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