Yikes: U.S. Agencies Investigating Asbestos in J&J Baby Powder

Yikes: U.S. Agencies Investigating Asbestos in J&J Baby Powder
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The U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over possible asbestos contamination in the company’s baby powder and other talc-based products. Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging the products caused the cancer. [1]

In a security filing, J&J said it was “cooperating with these government inquiries and will be producing documents in response.”

In a separate statement, the company cited news reports relating to the lawsuits as the reason for the investigation. It is currently facing about 13,000 lawsuits linking Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talc-based products to ovarian cancer in women who used them for feminine hygiene purposes, and mesothelioma in others.

News reports revealed in December that internal documents showed decades of communications within Johnson & Johnson about the risk of asbestos in its talc products. The company appeared to keep the issue a secret.

Johnson & Johnson says that:

“…decades of independent tests by regulators and the world’s leading labs prove Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.”

Read: Jury: Johnson & Johnson Failed to Warn of Talc Powder-Cancer Risk

In 2018, courts in New Jersey and California awarded damages to plaintiffs who alleged that J&J’s talc-based products caused them mesothelioma. In July of 2018, 22 women who claimed the company’s talc powder gave them ovarian cancer were awarded $4.7 billion by a St. Louis jury.  [2]


[1] HealthDay

[2] USA Today