Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said Thursday it will stop selling talc-containing baby powder worldwide by 2023. Two years ago, the company halted sales of the product in the United States and Canada, according to Reuters “Because of misinformation” and several lawsuits that resulted from it.
About 38,000 lawsuits were filed against the company by consumers and their relatives. They argue that J&J’s talc products cause cancer because they contain the carcinogen asbestos.
J&J maintains that their talc is safe and asbestos-free, proven by decades of scientific research and product regulatory approval. The company is switching to baby powder made from cornstarch.
A new subsidiary goes bankrupt
In October 2021, J&J liquidated its LTL management company. After the pending lawsuits were transferred to the new company, it was declared bankrupt. Then the lawsuit was adjourned.
Before filing for bankruptcy, the company faced costs of $3.5 billion in judgments and settlements. In one case, more than $2 billion was awarded to 22 women who developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder containing talc.
from search by Reuters 2018 revealed that J&J has known for decades that asbestos, a carcinogen, is in its talc products.
From at least 1971 until the turn of the millennium, J&J’s raw talcum powder and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, according to company records, court witness statements and other evidence.
In response to evidence of asbestos contamination in the media, in court and on Capitol Hill, J&J has repeatedly stated that its talc products are safe and do not cause cancer.
Research in asbestos in the Netherlands
In 2018, the Dutch Consumer Product and Food Safety Authority (NVWA) found no reason to investigate Johnson & Johnson baby powder. That year, the regulator checked 296 cosmetic products for the presence of asbestos, including children’s “body powders.” Traces of asbestos fibers are found only in blush and eye shadow. Its health risk has been rated as ‘limited’.
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