Johnson & Johnson’s baby products were not banned. However, as of May 19, 2020, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily made the decision to stop manufacturing and distributing any baby powders that contain talc, according to a press release from the company.
Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Products and Bans
For decades, the well-known company Johnson & Johnson created a quintessential staple of every child’s nursery, Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
Millions of parents used this talc-based powders as a way to reduce the occurrence of diaper rash and eliminate moisture in children’s diapers. However, Johnson & Johnson’s baby products containing talc were discovered to contain asbestos, which is a cancer-causing agent. This discovery led to the European Union banning talc-containing products, as the mineral talc can actually contain the mineral asbestos within it. Johnson & Johnson defends the product to date but discontinued it in the U.S.
Discontinuation vs. Bans
The U.S. has not issued a similar ban on any products containing talc, which are still easily purchased at any retail drug store. These talc-containing products are still on the shelves, as Johnson & Johnson’s baby products were not banned, but rather, the company made the decision not to manufacture or distribute any more talc-containing products. The products that remain on the shelves will continue to sell until they run out.
The official statement from Johnson and Johnson mentioned that they would discontinue all products containing talc, but simultaneously defended their continued position that their products pose absolutely no safety risks to users. Their statement read, “Decades of scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product. We will continue to vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the Company in the courtroom.”
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Johnson & Johnson Knew of the Dangers of Talc
Unfortunately for Johnson & Johnson, their own internal records describe a much different story relating to their position regarding the safety of their own talc-containing products. According to Reuters, the records show that Johnson & Johnson knew about the asbestos in their products from 1971 to the 2000s. As a carcinogen, asbestos has links to the increased risk of developing mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, peritoneal cancer, and testicular mesothelioma.
Johnson & Johnson knew that asbestos was a carcinogen, and then discovered that the talc within their own baby products contained asbestos. While the amount of asbestos was small, internal documents show that many people of high-ranking positions continued to show serious concerns regarding the safety of their products for consumers.
Johnson & Johnson and Thousands of Lawsuits
Because the company failed to warn consumers or federal health organizations in the United States regarding their knowledge of the link between talc and asbestos in their products, not only were Johnson and Johnson’s baby products not banned in the United States, but they continued to sell remarkably well for decades. In the interim, Johnson and Johnson continued to promote their talc-containing products and vigorously defend the safety of their baby powder.
With thousands of victims developing different types of cancers related to asbestos following significant or long-term use of these talc-containing products, eventually, victims took their complaints and suspicions to the courts of law. Courts have now generously awarded victims of talc-containing products millions and billions of dollars’ worth of damages related to the fact that Johnson & Johnson continued to manufacture and market their dangerous products.
In fact, in 2018, Johnson & Johnson paid $4.7 billion dollars to 22 separate victims in a court case in St. Louis, Missouri, as the victims claimed that their development of ovarian cancer related to their use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products. With billions of dollars already awarded to victims, the court cases continue to occur with over 16,000 talc-related lawsuits currently scheduled for hearings throughout the United States regarding victims developing cancers related to asbestos after their use of talc-containing products.
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If you believe that you developed mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, peritoneal cancer, testicular cancer, or suffered any kind of injury as a result of your use of Johnson & Johnson talc-containing products, consider contacting Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to learn how we can help you today. Our team looks forward to visiting with you for a free consultation regarding your case.
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