Asbestos in Baby Powder: Johnson & Johnson Issues a Product Recall

Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a U.S. consumer goods company, recalled a batch of baby powder from the market after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found asbestos fibers in a product sample. The FDA did not detect asbestos in another J&J production batch.

The FDA discovered the fibers as part of a larger inspection of some 50 different cosmetics products. The action was taken as a safety precaution, given that traces of asbestos were found in cosmetics as early as 2017 in products purchased from retailers Claire’s and Justice.

At the request of Chemical Watch, J&J emphasized that the recall was undertaken voluntarily. The batch involved contained 33,000 bottles manufactured in 2018. None of them were in warehouses and very few, if any, were on the open market. At the same time, J&J repeatedly emphasized the safety of its products, as proven in testing.

Nonetheless, consumers have brought some 12,000 lawsuits against J&J and vendor Imerys Talc America, claiming that their cancers were caused by J&J talcum products. Because of the large number of suits, Imerys Talc America declared bankruptcy in February of this year.

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