Johnson & Johnson has announced it will stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the United States and Canada.
J&J has been the target of a federal criminal investigation into its talc products’ safety, an investigation by 41 states into its baby powder sales, an investigation into health risks of asbestos in talc-containing consumer products by a Congressional subcommittee, and is facing thousands of lawsuits by women who developed ovarian cancer after using the products.
Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity. Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen. Internal J&J company records, trial testimony, and other evidence show that from at least 1971, the company knew some of its talc mines were contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, but kept it concealed from the public.
U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, who led the Congressional inquiry, described J&J’s decision to stop selling talc baby powder as “a major victory for public health”. The subcommittee’s 14-month investigation revealed that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its product contains asbestos and the company fought to keep using a testing method that never would have allowed it to be detected. “Today’s victory means that children and families no longer will be endangered by this baby powder”, said Rep. Krishnamoorthi.
However, taking it off the shelf will not end the litigation and investigations against it. Asbestos is known to cause cancers that emerge decades after the exposure. If you or a family member used talc powder and later developed ovarian, asbestos-related lung cancer, or mesothelioma and have questions about what legal rights or compensation you may be entitled to, please feel free to contact us for a free-confidential consultation.