Johnson and Johnson have voluntarily recalled one lot of its Johnson’s Baby Powder, which contains almost 33,000 bottles since the US Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has found the trace of asbestos in a single bottle.
The FDA recommended that consumers stop using the lot #22318RB immediately and contact J&J for a refund. The recall comes at a time when J & J is fighting many lawsuits against its talcum powder, opioid drugs and other products. This is the first time the company has recalled its leading baby powder product.
For the first time since Dec 2018, the stock dropped as low as 6.2% on Friday. The stock has been under pressure as investors try to ascertain the company’s potential liabilities in a series of lawsuits related to talc and other products.
“I understand today’s recall may be concerning to all those individuals who may have used the affected lot of baby powder. 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,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. The FDA has tested about 50 cosmetic products for asbestos since 2018 and plans to release the full results by the end of this year, the agency said.
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said that tests conducted by the FDA found sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination at concentrations not exceeding 0.00002% in a single bottle purchased from an online retailer. The company added that they have conducted “thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly to confirm that their consumer talc products do not contain asbestos”.
During talc mining, if talc mining sites are not selected carefully and steps are not taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen. Not all talc contains asbestos. Majority of the product samples tested by the FDA did not contain asbestos.

Source: Livemint, The Guardian, The Wallstreet Journal

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