J&J's Testing of Baby Powder for Asbestos Contamination Raises Questions and Concerns
Johnson & Johnson rushed to test its popular brand of baby powder after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year found traces of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in some of the products. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, this finding prompted Johnson & Johnson to voluntarily recall 33,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder. Following that recall, the company did its own testing and announced that it found no trace of asbestos in its baby powder products.
Corporation’s Image at Stake
But the Wall Street Journal’s report says the results of that test were far more “complicated.” A Pennsylvania laboratory hired by J&J reportedly deviated from its normal process to meet J&J’s timetable adding a testing room normally used to analyze gunshot residue in crime investigations.
Initially, the lab found trace amounts of asbestos in some samples of Johnson’s Baby Powder but later determined that the second room was contaminated by an air-conditioning unit, according to letters between J&J and the testing company, which J&J has released. Repeat tests at the lab reportedly found no asbestos in the powder.
J&J is continuing to investigate with ongoing sample testing and has said it will provide an update in due course. J&J’s hurried response to the FDA’s asbestos findings in the baby powder shows just how important these popular products are to the corporation. While Johnson’s Baby Powder generates less than 1% of the total sales, because of the popularity of the products, the FDA’s asbestos findings represents a threat to the corporation’s image and reputation.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
J&J is currently defending lawsuits from nearly 100,000 plaintiffs over product safety and marketing including 16,000 lawsuits claiming its powder caused ovarian cancer in women who used it for feminine hygiene Women over the course of time who have used the powder developed a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. J&J has consistently maintained that its talcum powder products are asbestos-free and do not cause cancer.
As product liability attorneys who continue to represent individuals who have been impacted by J&J talcum powder products, we understand why J&J rushed to perform these lab tests and announced that its products don’t contain asbestos, especially because FDA testing showed otherwise.
We hope that individuals and families who have been affected by these products get their day in court and that more facts come out during the trials and court hearings. J&J has continued to aggressively market and sell these products largely used by infants while knowing that their products have been linked to cancer. We are determined to fight for justice on behalf of our clients.