Johnson & Johnson is Ending Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

Talcum Powder | Goldberg, Persky, and White P.C.

Johnson & Johnson is Ending Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

Johnson & Johnson will no longer be selling talc-based baby powder in North America. It has had to deal with many lawsuits because of asbestos contamination in the product. Baby powder is made of talc, which is a naturally occurring mineral that can easily be contaminated with asbestos.  The company has sold the product for many years and has marketed the product as a safe and gentle product that is good for everyone, especially babies, but this is not always the case. It also makes baby powder that uses cornstarch, which will continue to be sold. Despite stopping sales in North America, Johnson and Johnson will still be selling talc-based baby powder in other parts of the world.

Many women have used Johnson & Jonson’s baby powder for a long time and are now dealing with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma diagnoses. Its baby powder has tested positive for asbestos in the past, but the company blames bad testing, science, and researchers for its product testing positive for the carcinogen. Women claim that the company knew about the dangers of its product and failed to warn people. Though it is stopping sales in North America, Johnson and Johnson stands by its talc-based baby powder and will defend itself in court. It also said that demand for talc baby powder has reduced because of changing consumer attitudes and fears people now have related to the product.

Asbestos fears in 1980 caused the company to create a cornstarch alternative to the iconic regular baby powder. Talc can easily be contaminated with asbestos because when talc is mined, it can be intertwined with asbestos, which then mixes with the ground up talc. Johnson & Johnson was afraid of asbestos being in its talc for at least 50 years, which is concerning because it continued to sell the product.

Johnson & Johnson has faced nearly 2,000 lawsuits because of its talc-based baby powder. The FDA found chrysotile asbestos in a bottle of the powder, leading to 33,000 bottles being recalled in October. Baby powder is not even that profitable for the company, making up half of one percent of the company’s sales. Removing talc-based products would be in the company’s best interest.

If you were exposed to asbestos and now have lung cancer, mesothelioma, or another cancer, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us by calling 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form.  We will help in any way we can.

Source:
Tiffany Hsu and Roni Caryn Rabin, “Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America” The New York Times (May 19, 2020). [Link]
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