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33,000 bottles of baby powder recalled over asbestos concerns

Johnson & Johnson is recalling thousands of bottles of baby powder after testing found trace amounts of asbestos in one sample. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Oct. 18, 2019, it found “sub-trace” levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination in a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder purchased from an online retailer.

The agency reported the findings to Johnson & Johnson, which then issued a voluntary recall of that lot of the product. According to a report from the New York Times, that amounts to 33,000 bottles of baby powder. Anyone who has Johnson’s Baby Powder from the affected lot (No. 22318RB) should stop using it immediately. The company also said it wants to work with the FDA to make sure the testing that turned up asbestos is reliable.

Johnson & Johnson said it issued the recall out of an “abundance of caution” while also defending its health record. The company in a statement said thousands of tests over the past four decades show its talc products do not contain asbestos.

The mounting lawsuits suggest a different story.

Johnson & Johnson hounded by safety claims

Johnson & Johnson is currently facing serious questions about the safety of some of its products. The New York Times says more than 15,000 lawsuits filed against the company claim talc-based products such as baby powder caused the user to develop cancer. Of those, some have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Johnson & Johnson continues to insist its products are safe.

No safe levels of asbestos

Asbestos is one of the most insidious materials humans can be exposed to. Its fibers can become trapped in the lining of a person’s organs, such as the lungs, and lead to the cancer mesothelioma. Authorities generally consider exposure in any amount unsafe.

One recent study demonstrated a troubling link between asbestos-tainted baby powder and mesothelioma, with researchers finding asbestos fibers in the body tissue of some participants.

Mesothelioma in itself can be difficult to track. Symptoms may not show up until decades after a person was exposed to asbestos. It’s also possible for people to mistake the early symptoms of mesothelioma for a minor health issue.

If you’re concerned about mesothelioma and believe you were exposed to asbestos at any point in your life – whether through work conditions or an unsafe consumer product – it’s important to reach out to a medical professional.

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