Johnson & Johnson have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, and now, the trend continues with the company’s announcement of a voluntary recall of their baby powder, for supposedly containing traces of asbestos. The announcement was in response to the US Food and Drug Administration’s test on a random bottle of baby powder, which was positive for chrysotile asbestos. The recall, so far, is contained to one lot of production for the well-known brand of baby powder, and the FDA and Johnson & Johnson are both encouraging everyone to throw away the product if they own a bottle with a manufacturing label that claims the bottle was produced in lot #22318RB, where over 33,000 bottles were distributed, according to CNN.
The FDA also reported that no bottle contained more than .00002% of the chemical, and they’re performing their standard testing on all Johnson & Johnson production facilities to ensure that this exposure was contained. According to CNN, so far the FDA has confirmed no traces of asbestos have been found in any other shipping and packaging facility, and their rigorous testing process is almost complete. They’re assuming this to be a contained incident, but it’s probably smart to avoid Johnson & Johnson products in general, at least for the time being.
“FDA will be working with Johnson & Johnson to facilitate further investigation to substantiate that the product is authentic. The FDA is not aware of any records pointing to counterfeit Johnson’s baby powder in the US market. The company has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA’s own testing as recently as last month, found no asbestos. Thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos,” FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer wrote in an email to CNN on Friday.
According to the FDA’s official statement released on Friday, the administration has been doing nonstop intense testing of cosmetic products for asbestos since 2018, they’ve tested over 50 brands. These meticulous and now routine tests are what let the FDA to the asbestos discovery in the Johnson & Johnson production lot. Asbestos has been a major concern in the cosmetic field for the FDA, especially as of the past few years. Claire’s and Justice just received major backlash after the FDA found asbestos in some of their most popularly sold makeup products for young girls. All products that have been recalled within the past few years contained Talc, the main perpetrator.
“Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity in the earth. Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen. There is the potential for contamination of talc with asbestos and therefore, it is important to select talc mining sites carefully and take steps to test the ore sufficiently,” according to the FDA.
This is not Johnson & Johnson’s first time being in the news for controversy over their products. They’ve been accused multiple times in the past of having products with asbestos in them, and not saying anything. Mostly, an investigative report from Reuters went viral last year, for seemingly exposing Johnson & Johnson for knowing about the asbestos contamination in their products for DECADES and simply not doing anything about it. The toxic talcum powder can cause cancer and multiple million dollar lawsuits have been filed, and won, against Johnson & Johnson within the past year. For now, most families across the country are boycotting the brand after all the scandals they’ve been involved with, especially scandals that put peoples lives at risk.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.