According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , one recall on a Johnson & Johnson baby product occurred in October 2019. This recall included one specific lot number of Johnson & Johnson baby powder.
October 2019 Recall on Johnson & Johnson Baby Product
On October 18, 2019, Johnson & Johnson officially announced a recall of one particular lot of their baby powder, as it tested positive for asbestos. The company announcement indicated that they were issuing the recall out of an “abundance of caution,” and this voluntary recall was the direct response to the FDA test that revealed the presence of sub-trace levels of asbestos contamination.
Despite the low levels of the presence of asbestos, Johnson & Johnson issued a national voluntary recall of Lot #22318RB of their baby powder from which the sample was taken.
Johnson & Johnson maintained at the time of the recall that the presence of asbestos might have actually resulted from cross-contamination from another product, from a sample that did not have an intact seal, or from a sample that may have been a counterfeit Johnson & Johnson product. Johnson & Johnson continued to maintain that all of their internal tests showed that their baby powder products that contain talc do not contain any asbestos particles.
Asbestos in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder
For decades, scientists have known that asbestos is a carcinogen, and exposure to this mineral can cause an increased risk for the development of certain types of cancer. While Johnson & Johnson continues to publicly present the case that their products have never contained any asbestos, internal documents reveal that company executives had absolute knowledge that their products tested positive for asbestos since the 1970s, over five decades ago, according to Reuters.
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Dangers of Asbestos
While the amount of asbestos found in the talc-containing products of Johnson & Johnson appear microscopically low, scientists know that these tiny sharp dagger-like fibers of asbestos are easily inhaled and then settle in the lungs or other areas of the body over time. Almost all cases of mesothelioma will occur decades following the initial exposure.
Asbestos fibers settle into the lining of the lungs, the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal area), the ovaries or the testicles. When this occurs, the particles begin to scar, inflame, and kill the surrounding cells, according to the American Cancer Society.
According to published research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), programmed cell necrosis happens after asbestos exposure. It releases a protein the begins an inflammatory chain reaction that produces and grows cancerous cells. While the cells affected by asbestos may remain dormant for a long period of time, once this process begins, mesothelioma cancer will spread and develop quite aggressively throughout a victim’s body.
No Additional Recalls, but Thousands of Lawsuits
The debate continues regarding whether or not the FDA should have issued a recall regarding talc-containing products throughout the United States. Victims of asbestos exposure took matters into their own hands. When scientists finally published research that showed the link between talc and asbestos, victims began to connect the dots for themselves and realize that their cancers may have a relationship to their use of talc-containing products. As a result, tens of thousands of victims took their claims to court, where Johnson & Johnson has continued to suffer harsh judgments from juries.
As Johnson & Johnson continues to claim that their products containing talc are completely safe for public consumption, juries have awarded victims billions of dollar’s worth in damages. The New York Times reports that $4.7 billion dollars in damages to 22 victims occurred in just one singular case in St. Louis, Missouri.
While Johnson & Johnson continues to argue their products are safe, juries appear convinced otherwise and continue to grant substantial awards to victims suffering from asbestos exposure related to their use of Johnson & Johnson talc-containing products.
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While there is no recall on Johnson & Johnson baby products, juries have generously awarded victims substantial sums for their injuries they believe relate to their use of these products containing asbestos-tainted talc. If you suffered any injuries or losses related to your use of these products, learn how we can help you by contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak with our team for a free consultation regarding your case.