Johnson & Johnson recalls baby powder due to possible traces of asbestos

Multinational Johnson & Johnson recalls 3,000 bottles of baby powder in the US after health authorities found traces of asbestos in a bottle purchased online.

The company announces that the recall relates to one batch of the Johnson baby powder that was manufactured and distributed in the US in 2018.

Johnson & Johnson has launched an investigation into the case and is working with the US agency for food safety. According to the company’s consumer department, it is too early to determine whether cross-contamination could possibly lead to a false-positive result. J&J also cannot say whether the sample came from a bottle whose seal was intact and whether the sample was prepared in a controlled environment. It is currently also unclear whether the product tested was authentic or counterfeit. The news immediately affected the stock market value of the pharmaceutical giant: the company’s shares today lost 3.6 percent in value on the New York Stock Exchange.

15,500 claims

In December last year, the Reuters news agency revealed that the multinational had known for decades that their talcum powder could contain carcinogenic asbestos.

Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceutica and others, has around 15,500 claims on people who believe they have had asbestos-related cancer from the company’s products. However, J&J emphasises that their talc products are safe and that studies over decades show that they are asbestos-free and do not cause cancer.

Earlier this year, J&J was sentenced to damages of 325 million dollars to an American couple. The woman claimed that she had contracted cancer from the company’s baby powder. The company appealed the ruling.

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