A recent scare caused Johnson & Johnson to blame a test sample contamination and/or analyst error that led to the recall approximately of 33,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder in October. Company representatives claimed that subsequent third-party tests examined samples of the product and found no trace of asbestos in any of the 155 tests performed by two different labs.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the findings of these subsequent tests are in line with 40 years of independent research performed on the baby product that has been considered a changing table staple for generations. The company also stated that the original tests, performed by Analytical Services, Inc., cleared the claims on this specific online baby powder.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stands by the original findings with an agency spokeswoman pointing out that the asbestos fibers were not distributed evenly throughout products, which explains how the tests that were performed on multiple product samples provided dissimilar results. She also pointed to a lack of industry standards when it came to their standard testing, which says that there is no consistent way to detect and count asbestos fibers.
While it is still up for debate as to whether the recall was necessary, the scare was valid. Asbestos is an airborne fibrous material that can cause cancer if inhaled. It is linked to serious lung conditions, including mesothelioma cancer, a disease of the lining in the lungs that takes many years to fully develop and usually causes painful symptoms and eventual death.
In the past, Johnson & Johnson has been the subject of 16,000 lawsuits, which claimed woman developed ovarian cancer due to using the company’s talc-based products. In 2018, the company was ordered to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women in Missouri. In July 2019, it was reported that the company was under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for lying to the public about the cancer risks associated with its talc products.
Although Johnson & Johnson has strongly defended their talc products for years, there is a still a prominent concern that an asbestos risk resides in talc products. This stems from the fact that the mineral deposits for both talc and asbestos often occur together. Theoretically, the process for mining talc may disturb the naturally occurring asbestos that then creates a contamination threat.
If you were harmed by a product containing asbestos, you may be eligible to collect compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result of your exposure. Contact the Philadelphia asbestos attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler to discuss your case today. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.