Back in November, pharmaceutical and personal care product company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced a voluntary recall of one lot of its baby powder. The company did so after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found “sub-trace” levels of the carcinogen asbestos during testing.

According to J&J, when conducting tests, the agency found a single product purchased online from a retailer contained levels of chrysotile asbestos in concentrations of not greater more than .00002%.

Company cooperating fully

Johnson & Johnson stated they are “fully cooperating” with the federal agency. They initiated a rigorous investigation to determine the tested sample’s purity and whether the results were valid.

The initial investigation didn’t reveal whether or not:

  • The product tested was a counterfeit version or an authentic J&J product
  • The sample testing was done in a controlled environment
  • A false-positive result occurred due to the sample being cross-contaminated
  • The sample came from a unit with its seal intact

Company touts testing standards

According to Johnson & Johnson, for the past 40 years, there have been rigorous protocols for testing the cosmetic talc they use in their health and beauty product line. They claim that an October round of testing by the FDA on talc products found no traces of asbestos.

The company’s statement reads, in part:

“Thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos. Our talc comes from ore sources confirmed to meet our stringent specifications that exceed industry standards . . . our talc has also been tested and confirmed to be asbestos-free by a range of independent laboratories, universities and global health authorities.”

Latest in series of talc woes for company

This is just the latest episode of negative publicity over J&J’s talcum products in the multinational corporation’s recent history. Two years ago, a jury awarded a South Dakota woman $55 million in damages after she was able to prove a link between her ovarian cancer and her use of J&J talcum powder. At least 1,200 other lawsuits have been filed against the company for failing to warn consumers they were at risk when using their talc products.

A jury in Missouri determined much of the same in their verdict wherein Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million to one victim’s family. The woman’s survivors claimed she died from ovarian cancer due to her lifelong usage of talc products manufactured and sold by the corporate giant.

Have you been affected adversely by talcum products?

If you suffered injury or worsened health as a result of your use of talcum products, or if you are a survivor of someone who died as a result of exposure to the products, you may be able to seek civil justice.