No, Johnson and Johnson does not still use talcum powder. As of May 12, 2020, Johnson and Johnson announced that their company would no longer manufacture or distribute any talc-containing products in either the United States or Canada. The remaining products that contain talc, such as baby powder, may remain on the shelves and continue to sell throughout the United States and Canada until they completely run out.
Johnson and Johnson and Talcum Powder
Johnson and Johnson has made the decision after decades of legal challenges to finally discontinue all of their talcum based baby powders in both the United States and Canada, according to The New York Times. Starting over forty years ago, Johnson and Johnson provided a common staple found in the nurseries of homes throughout the United States, as new parents used the Johnson and Johnson baby powder to eliminate moisture and reduce friction on their newborns.
The Alleged Johnson and Johnson Cover Up
Talcum powders contain talc, as their name indicates, however, they contain much more than that. Talc is a soft mineral found in the ground, and as miners of this mineral discovered, talc mines typically exist in close proximity to asbestos mines.
Continued research discovered that the mineral talc often contains asbestos as well. As a known carcinogen, asbestos was actually discovered to increase the risk of the development of different types of cancers, such as mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, peritoneal cancer, and testicular mesothelioma, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). As more and more research started to appear linking talc with these types of cancers, many victims that developed these cancers looked to Johnson and Johnson for responsibility and liability for their injuries and losses.
While Johnson and Johnson always vehemently denied that their talc contained any asbestos at all, and that their products were absolutely safe, a cover-up at the company was ultimately exposed. Internal documents of Johnson and Johnson proved that the company had knowledge that their talc-containing products contained asbestos, according to Reuters.
Knowing that their products contained asbestos, albeit, in small amounts, the company appeared to fret for decades and wrestle with how to handle the fact that their well-known baby powders contained a known carcinogen. Additionally, Johnson and Johnson intentionally and deliberately failed to disclose this information to the public and to their consumers.
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Lawsuits Against Johnson and Johnson
Johnson and Johnson continued to promote and defend the safety of its talcum powder products, as victims stepped forward to attempt to receive justice regarding the development of different kinds of cancers related to their use of Johnson and Johnson talcum powder products. In 2018, the court ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $4.7 billion dollars to 22 separate victims related to their development of ovarian cancer, according to the Journal of Missouri State Medical Association.
Other juries throughout the country have also awarded million and billion-dollar settlements, as the jury members were sufficiently convinced that the talc-containing products resulted in the development of these aggressive and life-threatening cancers. Currently, there are over 16,000 talc-related lawsuits throughout the United States. With so many lawsuits, many consumers wondered why Johnson and Johnson still continued to use talcum powder within its products.
The Discontinuation of Talc-Based Products
On May 12, 2020, Johnson and Johnson finally made the decision to remove any product that contained talc from the market. Their official statement included not only a commentary regarding the discontinuation of their baby powder, but also a defense of their continued belief in the safety of their products, despite their internal documents and decades of research that claim otherwise.
Whether or not Johnson and Johnson’s executives truly believe in the safety of their products, they made the long-awaited decision to finally stop creating and distributing their products that contain talc. It is important to note that apparently stores in the United States and Canada will continue to sell the remaining amount of inventory of baby powder on the shelves.
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While Johnson and Johnson do not still use talcum powder in any of their products, this is an extremely recent development. In fact, their products that contain talc still exist on the shelves throughout stores in the United States today. If you believe that you suffered any kind of injury, or the development of cancer as a result of your use of Johnson and Johnson talc-containing products, consider contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to learn how we can help you today. Our legal team looks forward to providing you a free consultation regarding your case.