J&J recalls 33K baby powder bottles in U.S. on asbestos worry

Marco Green
October 21, 2019

Johnson & Johnson on Friday recalled a single batch of its baby powder as a precaution after government testing found trace amounts of asbestos in one bottle bought online.

Health care giant J&J said it had launched a review and prior tests have not found asbestos.

As a result, Johnson & Johnson said it's voluntarily recalling Lot #22318RB of the baby powder, from which the tested sample was taken.

"The FDA's testing on prior occasions, and as recently as last month, found no asbestos", said spokesman Ernie Knewitz.

The company stressed that it has a history of passing quality assurance tests, including those done by the FDA on previous occasions, while the FDA is now advising customers to refrain from using the talcum powder, which is commonly used to prevent diaper rash.

The recall comes as J&J fights thousands of lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim its iconic baby talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos and that it caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to inhaling asbestos fibers.

The FDA has been testing dozens of J&J products including baby powder, opioids, medical devices and the antipsychotic Risperdal for asbestos, a known carcinogen - a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue, amid rising concerns among the public. However, the company has denied those accusations.

The federal agency said that there was no proof that the product was counterfeit or had been tainted during testing.

It is not aware of any adverse events relating to exposure to the lot of affected products, it added. Consumers who have a bottle from that lot should stop using it; refunds are available through the company's website.

Shares of J&J fell 6 per cent on Friday after the development, making it the second worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the CNN reported.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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