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J&J Recalls Baby Powder

Company to offer refunds on 33K bottles after tests found traces of asbestos
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 18, 2019 2:50 PM CDT
Johnson's baby powder is displayed in 2011. One batch of the bottles has been recalled by the company.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – 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. The recalled lot consists of 33,000 bottles distributed last year. J&J said the Food and Drug Administration found minuscule amounts of asbestos in one bottle during routine testing and notified the company. J&J said it immediately began investigating with the FDA, the AP reports. "The FDA's testing on prior occasions, and as recently as last month, found no asbestos," said spokesman Ernie Knewitz. J&J said it was checking where the bottles were shipped, if the tested bottle is counterfeit or authentic, and whether the sample might have been contaminated during testing. The company pointed out that the levels found were no greater than 0.00002%, per CNN.

The recalled lot of 22-ounce bottles is #22318RB. Consumers who have a bottle from that lot should stop using it; refunds are available through the company's website. J&J is fighting thousands of lawsuits in which plaintiffs claim that the iconic baby talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos and that it caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to inhaling asbestos fibers. At multiple trials, J&J's expert witnesses have testified asbestos hasn't been detected in the talc in thousands of tests over 40 years. Juries have reached multimillion-dollar verdicts against the company, nearly all of which are being appealed or have been overturned. Talc, the softest of minerals, is mined from deposits around the world, which can be contaminated with asbestos. J&J says the company and its talc suppliers routinely test their talc to ensure it's safe.

(Read more baby powder stories.)

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