Johnson & Johnson has been the name behind the well-known baby power since 1894. Over the years, their successful growth has resulted in the company’s net worth of over 360 billion dollars. In 2017, the company began facing lawsuits with claims that their crushed talc-based baby powder was contaminated with asbestos; leading to cancer.
The contaminated talc claim is supported by the fact that both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring silicate minerals. They are found in close proximity to the soil. Asbestos is a known cancer-causing agent (a carcinogen). Inadequate separation of the minerals can easily lead to contamination by asbestos.
Since then, over 17,000 lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have been filed; claiming that their talc product is responsible for various cases of cancers including mesothelioma. Recently, new information regarding talc has been hitting the news. This year, Johnson and & Johnson settled a California women’s claim mid-case. Johnson and Johnson have not shared details as to why this was done. A recent LA Times article quoted Johnson and Johnson spokesperson Kim Montagnino saying,
“The decision to resolve any particular case in no way changes our overall position that our talc is safe, asbestos-free and does not cause cancer.”
The latest update is that the FDA has announced that it will hold a public meeting on testing methods for asbestos in talc and cosmetic products containing talc. The meeting will be held on February 4, 2020. This is not the first announcement that the FDA has made concerning talc contamination concerns. On October 18, 2019, the FDA updated the Safety Alert and issued a new Constituent Update warning consumers against using asbestos-containing products.
The upcoming FDA announcement may pile more evidence against Johnson and Johnson’s talc contamination lawsuits. This comes just following a recent JAMA study published on January 7, 2020, that found no significant link between talc powder and ovarian cancer. Johnson and Johnson also shared on their website that “Company Investigation Confirms No Asbestos in Johnson’s Baby Powder.” The website continues on to discuss how over 150 tests show no asbestos. It appears as lawsuits continue against Johnson and Johnson, alternating supportive evidence is rapidly emerging. A change in testing methods may be the game-changer to these lawsuits.