Johnson & Johnson Issues Voluntary Recall of Baby Powder Over Asbestos Concerns
Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall on a lot of baby powder produced and distributed in 2018.
In a Friday press release out of the company’s headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson stated that they were “acting out of an abundance of caution” in recalling product lot #22318RB.
The recall was issued “in response to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test indicating the presence of sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination (no greater than 0.00002 percent) in samples from a single bottle purchased from an online retailer,” the release explained.
“Despite the low levels reported and in full cooperation and collaboration with the FDA, JJCI is initiating this voluntary recall of Lot #22318RB of Johnson’s Baby Powder, from which the tested sample was taken,” it went on.
Furthermore, the company said it “has immediately initiated a rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter, and is working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results.”
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“At this early stage of the investigation,” the release continued, the company can’t confirm “if cross-contamination of the sample caused a false positive,” “whether the sample was taken from a bottle with an intact seal or whether the sample was prepared in a controlled environment” or “whether the tested product is authentic or counterfeit.”
This is not the first time there has been controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. A December 2018 report alleged that the company knew for decades that their baby powder had occasionally tested positive for small amounts of asbestos over the years.
In an in-depth Reuters investigation, which examined decades’ worth of internal company and court documents, the outlet found that from 1971 to the early 2000s, Johnson & Johnson had been made aware that the talc in their products sometimes tested positive for the carcinogen, and didn’t share the news outside of the company.
Johnson & Johnson vehemently denied the claims made in the report in a statement provided to PEOPLE, and branded the report “an absurd conspiracy theory.”
In recent years, Johnson & Johnson has faced mounting legal pressure. In 2017, a California woman was awarded $417 million from the company after she filed a lawsuit claiming that their baby powder gave her ovarian cancer. Additionally, this July, a jury in St. Louis awarded nearly $4.7 billion to 22 women who sued the company, claiming that asbestos in the company’s talcum powder had contributed to their ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson has been sued by more than 9,000 women who claimed that the company’s talcum powder was linked to their cancer, although the company has denied this, according to CBS News.
“If you or someone you provide care for owns a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder Lot #22318RB, you are advised to discontinue use of the product,” the Friday press release urged of the voluntary recall.
To request a refund, customers with affected products should “contact the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Care Center at www.johnsonsbaby.com or by calling +1 (866) 565-2229.”
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