Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder tests positive for asbestos, recall announced

UPDATE: Major U.S. retailers Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Target pull all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder due to possible asbestos contamination roughly a week after the recall was announced. 

Johnson & Johnson recalled a single lot of its baby powder on Friday, Oct. 18 after a sample tested positive asbestos.

The FDA tested one bottle of the baby powder, which it purchased from an online retailer, according to a statement released by J&J. The contaminated sample came from Lot #22318RB.

Talc, the softest mineral in the world, is a common ingredient found in powders, makeup and other cosmetic products. Since talc is derived from the earth, however, it may be contaminated with traces of deadly asbestos that occur naturally alongside talc. Even though the FDA considers it unacceptable for cosmetic grade talc to be contaminated with asbestos, the Agency has no standards in place to require testing, review or approval of these cosmetic products before they are available to consumers. Talcum powder manufacturers, like J&J, essentially are subject to no safety analysis for these products that are widely marketed for direct application to the body.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, J&J has repeatedly denied accusations that its talcum powder products contained toxic asbestos mineral fibers, which is known to cause mesothelioma and other cancers in humans. Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer targeting the lining of the lungs, chest wall and abdomen, can develop even after brief exposures to asbestos. Victims are often diagnosed years, or even decades, after they were originally exposed. A growing number of studies have also found that the use of talc-based powders on the genitals and perineal area for personal hygiene may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

Motley Rice attorneys have fought for decades for victims of asbestos exposure and their loved ones, including being a supporter of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, a non-profit advocacy organization led by mesothelioma widow Linda Reinstein. If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease after being exposed to Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, you may contact Motley Rice attorney Nate Finch by email or call 1.800.768.4026. If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after using a talc-based product on the perineal area, you may contact attorney Carmen Scott by email or call 1.800.768.4026.

Read more on the link between talc and asbestos on the Motley Rice Law Blog: