Before everyone flies into a panic, let’s get one thing clear.
If you know that your baby powder is pure, there’s no harm in dousing a baby in it, or using some in your smelly shoes.
Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson, one of the most famous baby brands on the market, might not be the safest choice.
The company has come under federal investigation recently due to concerns about the purity of their baby powder, reports Business Insider. Turns out their powder might contain traces of asbestos, which is a known human carcinogen.
In other words, it could cause cancer.
This begs two questions: did Johnson & Johnson know about the asbestos, and was there enough contaminate in the powder to cause harm?
As for how it got in there – asbestos is often found in talc, which is the primary ingredient in talcum powder.
Johnson & Johnson disclosed on Wednesday that federal regulators were raising questions about the company’s baby powders in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
That federal investigation comes on the heels of a series of lawsuits about baby powder, some decades in the making. The most recent suit was decided in July: A jury in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay up $4.7 billion to 22 women who claimed the company’s baby powder caused their cases of ovarian cancer.
The company is sticking to its guns, claiming that the powder is not the cause. Despite this, there are clues that suggest not only that there was asbestos in the powder, but that the company knew about it.
In December 2018, a Reuters investigation revealed internal documents from the company that showed that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, “the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.”
After that Reuters report, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said again that there was no asbestos in the company’s products.
“We know that our talc is safe,” Gorsky said in a video message on the company’s website. He added that the company uses the “purest, safest, pharmaceutical-grade talc on Earth,” and that the baby powder “does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease.”
Until this is all sorted out, it’s probably best to avoid the product.
Just to be on the safe side.
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