All talcum powders are cancerous

Baby Powder Asbestos Dangers: Should You Worry?

In October 2019, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) - maker of the world's best-selling baby powder - recalled a batch of baby powder after government tests found traces of asbestos in at least one bottle. That's right: baby powder asbestos contamination.

This is not the first time J&J has had legal issues with contaminants found in both baby and adult products. The company has been using for the past few yearsThousands fought by lawsuits.

Several people have sued the company over claims that harmful chemicals in their personal care products have caused health problems such as cancer.

Who should be concerned about asbestos in baby powder and talcum powder? While babies themselves and their caregivers are at risk from using baby powder frequently, so far it is adults who use baby powder for skin care and deodorant purposes who have come to J&J most often because of this baby powder asbestos bomb.

Baby powder asbestos study results

In the US, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regularly tests products for harmful substances. According to spokespeople for J&J, routine tests carried out by the FDA found "tiny amounts of asbestos" in a bottle of baby powder.

Previously, no contamination was found in previous tests.

J&J reports that following a warning from the FDA, they immediately began investigating the presence of asbestos in their Baby Power products sold the previous year. The company decided to recall around 33,000 bottles to protect its customers from potential exposure to baby powder asbestos.

Since the test results surfaced, J&J officials have reported to the media that they are "working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the sample tested and the validity of the test results."

Risks and Dangers

Baby powder contains the soft mineral talc (or talc). What is talcum powder?

According to the FDA, it is a fine white powder made of clay that is at risk of contamination with asbestos. Talc and asbestos are often found together on earth, and during the breakdown process talc can absorb and transport asbestos, a known human carcinogen.

Asbestos is a “naturally occurring fibrous mineral made up of thin, needle-like fibers. Asbestos exposure causes various cancers and diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis, ”the Asbestos website states.

Talcum powder is used in baby powder and other commercial and food products because of its ability to absorb moisture and prevent diaper rash. Not all talc contains asbestos, and we know that most of the FDA-tested products are proven to beno Contain asbestos.

Although, according to J&J, the company works with suppliers who routinely test their talc for the presence of asbestos, several people have sued the company, claiming that their products are in fact not free from this dangerous chemical. Approximately 11,700 plaintiffs blame the company's talk for serious illnesses, including cancer.

How can baby powder cause cancer? Talc remains a controversial mineral, but a multitude of research shows that asbestos is harmful and even deadly.

Exposure can lead to lung disease, COPD symptoms, organ failure, ovarian cancer symptoms, and mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that is very difficult to control and treat. In fact, exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma cancer.

Inhaled asbestos fibers are not easily removed from the body after inhalation. They can "lodge" in the body and trigger inflammatory reactions and mutations in cells that sometimes lead to the proliferation of cancerous mesothelioma cells.

Mesothelioma cells can then spread throughout the body, causing dysfunction of vital organs and even death.

J&J research results

In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into allegations that J & J's baby powder contains asbestos. The DOJ has summoned the company and handed over documents on the results of previous contamination tests.

This has followed over 15,000 consumer lawsuits alleging talc in baby powder caused cancer. (The company is also involved in litigation related to opioid drugs due to the opioid epidemic and other non-baby products.)

J&J has settled out of court in multiple lawsuits aimed at contaminating its products, and in some cases has paid hundreds of millions of dollars, despite the company's officials having thousands of tests over the past four decades to prove their products are safe.

In 2018, theNew York Times the history of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson baby powder. According to the investigation, the company may have known for more than 50 years that its products may be contaminated with asbestos, but it has not warned consumers or recalled products.

Reuters also conducted a similar investigation and found evidence that "the company's powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J was keeping this information away from regulators and the public."

Reuters reports that "The company's raw talc and powdered powders sometimes tested positive for low levels of asbestos from at least 1971 through the early 2000s, and that the company's executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers were concerned about the problem and how it was proceeding were there without telling the regulatory authorities or the public. "

J&J continues to deny that its baby powder ever contained asbestos or caused serious illness in customers. The company plans to continue to appeal against cases it has lost.

Who was exposed?

Microscopic asbestos fibers cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. These fibers have been found in many types of products including cements, drywall compounds, paper, ropes, plastics, paints, sealants, powders, and adhesives.

Most people who have had known asbestos-related diseases are men in their 60s or older. The Mesothelioma Justice Network reports, "Miners and other manufacturing workers are most likely to be exposed to asbestos."

Other high-risk jobs are:

  • construction
  • Power generation
  • Fight fire
  • military service
  • shipbuilding

People who are exposed to talc in the air for a long period of time, e.g. B. Long-term talc mining workers may inhale asbestos if appropriate safety protocols are not followed. Asbestos particles can also be absorbed into clothing and skin and enter miners' homes, potentially endangering family members.

When contaminated baby powder is applied to babies, not only are babies at risk, but also their caregivers, parents, siblings and day care workers. Talc in the powder can get into the air when the powder is shaken and applied. This can put asbestos contamination of the baby powder at risk if someone is in close proximity.

Adults who put baby powder on their bodies for a variety of reasons, such as: B. for reasons of antiperspirant and deodorant protection, may also be at risk. For example, women with ovarian cancer have filed a number of lawsuits against J&J alleging that they regularly used baby power in this way.

While J&J firmly believes that its current products are safe to use, it is not clear whether the real threats are from products that consumers have used over the past six decades.

A number of plaintiffs over the years have hired laboratories to test J&J products. In one of these laboratories, asbestos was found in a J&J shower product in the 1990s, while in another laboratory, more than half of baby powder samples from the past few decades contained asbestos.

It was found that, according to Reuters, asbestos concentrations are "so high that users are most likely to be exposed".

How concerned should you be?

On October 23, 2019, the FDA announced that it “stands for the quality of its tests and results, and has no adverse events related to exposure to the amount of affected products.” The FDA expects to release the full results of all of its Tests on cosmetic products by the end of 2019.

In the meantime, if you recently purchased a 22-ounce bottle of J&J baby powder, your safest option is to stop using it pending further investigation by the FDA. Most concerned should be adults who have used baby powder on their toddlers and who have sprinkled it on themselves for years, especially if potential asbestos exposure for other reasons (such as a family member's job) is an issue.

You can request a refund through J & J's website and learn more about the recall.

J&J explains on its website:

If you or someone you care about has a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder Lot # 22318RB, please stop using the product. For more information, contact our Johnson & Johnson Consumer Care Center at 1 (866) 565-2229. Please know that we are working hard to resolve this matter. You can always find more information about our talk on our website

Diagnosing asbestos-related diseases usually takes many years. If you have had any signs or symptoms of exposure to asbestos, such as: B. Difficulty breathing or cancer, talk to your doctor immediately.


  • Does Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder contain asbestos? In the US, the FDA is currently investigating J & J's asbestos levels on baby powder to find out.
  • It's not yet clear whether baby powder use can contribute to cancer, lung damage, and disease. This is because baby powder contains talc, which may be contaminated with traces of asbestos.
  • Several asbestos lawsuits have been filed against baby powder in the past few decades. While J&J continues to deny that its baby powder is contaminated or harmful, the company has resolved some litigation with plaintiffs for millions of dollars.
  • At this point, consumers are advised to stop using Johnson & Johnson baby powder, particularly 22 ounce bottles that have been sold in recent years, until more is known about the safety and risk of asbestos contamination with baby powder.
Posted in human