J&J recalls baby powder after trace asbestos found in bottle

Darnell Taylor
October 19, 2019

The recall involves a single lot of baby powder found to contain "sub-travel levels" of asbestos, the company said.

Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling a single lot of its baby powder in the United States "out of an abundance of caution".

J&J said it then implemented an investigation into the matter, saying it is now working with the FDA to reveal the integrity of the sample that was tested.

"[J&J] has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA's own testing on prior occasions - and as recently as last month - found no asbestos", the company said in a statement.

The company said it is too early to determine whether the results could be the possibility of cross-contamination or if the sample was taken from a sealed, authentic product.

Citing FDA tests from last month, J&J Said that it's products broadly do not contain asbestos, but its stock prices fell by 2.6 percent ahead of Friday trading, suggesting the public may be responding with skepticism.

The firm is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who claim its talc products caused cancer.

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J&J also said that independent laboratories have tested the company's talc and confirmed that it is asbestos-free.

Earlier in the day, J&J said on a conference call that it received a report from the FDA on October 17 alerting the company about the asbestos finding.

The move marks the first time the company has recalled its baby powder for possible asbestos contamination, and the first time USA regulators have announced a finding of asbestos in a J&J powder.

This is not the first time there has been controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson's baby powder. The findings of the investigation stated that Baby Powder periodically tested positive for tiny amounts of asbestos between 1971 and the early 2000s.

Consumers are advised to discontinue use of the product.

J&J said in February that it had received subpoenas and inquiries related to its iconic baby-powder products from the U.S. Justice Department, the SEC and the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

It's just the latest in a series of blows for J&J, which is fighting on several legal fronts and confronting billions of dollars in verdicts and potential settlements.

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