Johnson & Johnson recalls baby powder due to asbestos concerns

MGN Online

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that it's...

Posted: Oct 18, 2019 12:35 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 9:45 PM

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that it's initiating a voluntary recall in the United States of its popular Johnson's Baby Powder due to low levels of asbestos contamination.

The recall, which is limited to one lot of baby powder bottles produced and shipped in the United States last year, comes in response to a US Food and Drug Administration test that found levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination in samples from a bottle purchased online, according to the company.

'I understand today's recall may be concerning to all those individuals who may have used the affected lot of baby powder,' Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said in a statement on Friday. 'I want to assure everyone that the agency takes these concerns seriously and that we are committed to our mandate of protecting the public health.'

'The FDA continues to test cosmetic products that contain talc for the presence of asbestos to protect Americans from potential health risks,' Sharpless said.

People with a bottle of Johnson's Baby Powder from lot #22318RB, which includes 33,000 bottles, are advised to discontinue using the product and can contact the company for a refund.

The company noted that the levels found were no greater than 0.00002%, and that at this early stage of its investigation into the matter, it cannot confirm whether cross-contamination occurred, whether the sample came from a bottle with an intact seal or whether the tested product is authentic.

The FDA stands by the quality of its testing and results, and noted that the agency is not aware of any adverse events related to exposure to the lot of affected products.

'FDA handling of the sample and testing followed standard operating procedures for laboratory analysis and FDA sees no indication of cross-contamination,' FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer wrote in an email to CNN on Friday.

'FDA will be working with Johnson & Johnson to facilitate further investigation to substantiate that the product is authentic. At this time, there is no indication that the product is counterfeit. Additionally, FDA is not aware of any records pointing to counterfeit Johnson's baby powder in the US market,' Meyer's email said.

Johnson & Johnson 'has immediately initiated a rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter, and is working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results,' the company said in its announcement.

The company 'has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA's own testing on prior occasions -- and as recently as last month -- found no asbestos. Thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos.'

The FDA noted in its statement that it has been conducting an ongoing survey of cosmetic products for asbestos since 2018 and to date has tested about 50 cosmetic products.

As part of that testing, two samples of Johnson's Baby Powder were tested: one sample from lot #22318RB, which was found to be positive for asbestos, and a second from lot #00918RA, which tested negative for asbestos.

The agency said that it expects to issue the full results from this survey by the end of the year.

Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetic products, such as baby powder and blush. The FDA has been conducting ongoing research into the potential contamination of talc with asbestos.

For instance, in March, the agency announced tests found asbestos contamination in certain cosmetic products sold by Claire's and Justice retailers.

'Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity in the earth. Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen. There is the potential for contamination of talc with asbestos and therefore, it is important to select talc mining sites carefully and take steps to test the ore sufficiently,' according to the FDA.

Johnson & Johnson said in its Friday announcement that the 'company is acting out of an abundance of caution.'

The company has faced previous allegations of asbestos contamination in its talcum powder.

A Reuters report published last year said that the company was aware for decades of asbestos in its baby powder but did not disclose that information to the public.

Lawsuits have been filed against the company in the United States alleging that asbestos in its talcum powder causes cancer. Some of those cases carried verdicts against Johnson & Johnson with multi-million dollar awards to plaintiffs.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds282449
DeSoto186519
Madison141936
Jones118549
Harrison109615
Rankin106315
Neshoba103976
Forrest97243
Lauderdale95481
Scott80915
Jackson74418
Washington70010
Copiah64215
Leake62120
Lee60022
Oktibbeha58928
Holmes57941
Warren57720
Grenada5698
Wayne56018
Yazoo5486
Lowndes53613
Leflore52856
Lamar5227
Lincoln51935
Pike48820
Sunflower4708
Lafayette4644
Monroe43935
Panola4326
Covington4295
Bolivar39418
Simpson3843
Attala38324
Newton36710
Adams34719
Pontotoc3396
Tate33313
Marion32412
Claiborne30011
Winston29611
Chickasaw29319
Pearl River28132
Noxubee2778
Marshall2763
Jasper2716
Clay25611
Walthall2497
Union24611
Smith23712
Coahoma2196
Clarke21725
Lawrence2022
Yalobusha2028
Kemper18314
Tallahatchie1784
Carroll17411
Humphreys16110
Calhoun1605
Montgomery1513
Itawamba1458
Tippah14411
Hancock14113
Webster13411
Jefferson1223
Tunica1213
Jefferson Davis1184
Prentiss1173
George1123
Greene11210
Amite1083
Quitman971
Tishomingo971
Wilkinson969
Alcorn942
Perry794
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin542
Sharkey470
Benton440
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6219167
Mobile4625138
Montgomery4397111
Tuscaloosa258652
Madison19839
Marshall190411
Shelby155724
Lee153537
Morgan12415
Baldwin117011
Walker105631
Elmore100721
Dallas9789
Franklin92816
Etowah91914
DeKalb8647
Russell6650
Chambers66427
Autauga66214
Butler64529
Tallapoosa62569
Unassigned61627
Limestone5963
Houston5616
Lauderdale5556
Cullman5546
St. Clair4842
Colbert4816
Lowndes48022
Escambia4688
Pike4675
Calhoun4565
Coffee4164
Covington40312
Jackson4022
Barbour3772
Bullock37610
Dale3721
Talladega3677
Hale34323
Marengo34211
Clarke3036
Wilcox2998
Chilton2952
Winston2925
Sumter28713
Blount2811
Marion26714
Pickens2626
Monroe2553
Randolph2489
Conecuh2278
Perry2242
Bibb2151
Macon2129
Choctaw20912
Greene1929
Henry1463
Washington1367
Crenshaw1263
Lawrence1210
Cherokee1157
Geneva950
Lamar871
Clay822
Fayette811
Coosa631
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 91°
Columbus
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 86°
Oxford
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 75°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather