Retailers Pull Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder from Shelves Amid Asbestos Contamination
Talcum powder products like Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder have come under fire in recent years due to a substantial number of lawsuits claiming that manufacturers failed to warn consumers about cancer risks from talc exposure. Johnson & Johnson has vehemently denied these claims, insisting their talcum powder products are free of asbestos. That claim may sound hollow in light of recent reports that retailers are pulling Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder from store shelves following a recall of the product due to asbestos contamination.
Johnson & Johnson announced a voluntary recall of approximately 33,000 bottles of its baby powder on October 18, 2019, after U.S. health regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in samples. The recall affected a single lot of 22-ounce bottles of baby powder produced and shipped in the U.S. in 2018: lot 22318RB.
Despite the relatively small amount of asbestos that was found (levels smaller than 0.00002 percent), just the mere presence of asbestos is grounds for concern and calls into question Johnson & Johnson’s credibility.
“I can’t imagine an attorney for Johnson & Johnson standing up in front of a jury now and saying with a straight face that the product is safe,” said David Noll, a law professor at Rutgers University, to the New York Times.
It’s also important to note that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
Following Johnson & Johnson’s recall, several major retailers began removing the product from store shelves. As a precautionary measure, CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Rite Aid confirmed they had removed all 22-ounce bottles of the baby powder from store shelves regardless of the lot number.
Johnson & Johnson is currently facing claims from more than 15,000 plaintiffs alleging that the company’s talc products have caused their cancers.