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WASHINGTON -- Johnson & Johnson is recalling 33,000 bottles of baby powder from lot number 22318RB after tests found some of the batch had been contaminated by asbestos. This known carcinogen is commonly found in talc-based products and has been linked to serious illnesses such as ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Over the years, Johnson & Johnson has faced thousands of lawsuits from customers claiming J&J baby powder and other talc-based products caused them to develop aggressive forms of cancers. An investigation by the New York Times revealed that Johnson & Johnson executives have known for years about the risks of asbestos in talc, but this recall marks the first time that the company has taken its baby powder off the market.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund Consumer Watchdog Associate Grace Brombach issued the following statement:
“Johnson & Johnson’s recall will help protect consumers from contaminated baby powder, but it also raises additional questions, considering the scrutiny the company is currently under for asbestos contamination.
“J&J must redouble its efforts to guarantee that every talc product it makes is asbestos-free. That includes improving its testing process, which this recall brings into question. Until then, consumers should consider alternative baby powders without talc or purchase from manufacturers that source their products from asbestos-free areas.”
“Johnson & Johnson executives knew 50 years ago that asbestos in talc-based products posed a risk to their customers. They’ve had plenty of time to guarantee that these carcinogens aren’t reaching the public, especially in a product often used on children. Consumers deserve better and Johnson & Johnson needs to do better.”
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