Johnson & Johnson Recalls Baby Powder In USA After Trace Amounts Of Asbestos Found
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has issued a voluntary recall of one lot of talcum Baby Powder after the US Food and Drug Administration discovered on Friday that it contained traces of asbestos, which causes cancer.
The recall applies to one lot of J&J Baby Powder sold in the United States.
Whilst the amount found was 'sub-trace' and only discovered in one bottle, the company said the recall was issued because of 'an abundance of caution'.
Asbestos has been proven to be dangerous and is known to cause mesothelioma, a type of cancer.
Thousands of claimants say that Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder caused them to get the disease, which affects the lining of the chest.
After the FDA tests last month, J&J issued a statement that stated their products do not - broadly speaking - contain asbestos. However, their stock price fell by more than 2.5 percent in advance of Friday's trading, suggesting that the market and the public might be reacting poorly to the discovery.
Asbestos can naturally form alongside talc, the mineral that is the core ingredient of Baby Powder, in nature, but mines are supposed to be regularly checked to ensure that this isn't happening.
Johnson & Johnson has long claimed that their talcum powder was clear of asbestos.
An investigation conducted by Reuters recently alleged that this wasn't always the case. The findings of the investigation stated that Baby Powder periodically tested positive for tiny amounts of asbestos between 1971 and the early 2000s.
The coincided with a rise in cases of mesothelioma, although it still only accounts for 0.3 percent of cancers.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer believes the link between asbestos and mesothelioma to be strong enough to say that it causes cancer.
Just this week, another study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine also found that talcum powder containing asbestos causes cancer.
The result that caused this recall contained 0.00002 percent asbestos, which is considered a 'sub-trace' but it still proves that the carcinogenic substance was present.
That is, unless it was a false positive result. J&J has suggested that could be the case as the bottle in question was bought online and could have been either contaminated or a counterfeit product.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson confirmed that 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'.
Featured Image Credit: PA