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Why This Matters: J&J has maintained that its powder products do not contain asbestos — but now that the government testing revealed traces of asbestos, the company is at even greater risk of losing the public’s trust. The company has lost several lawsuits (there are thousands more cases pending) and had billions in judgments against it already (all of which they are appealing), in which users of its baby powder claimed it caused their cancer. The company had claimed that its powder did not contain asbestos and did not cause cancer. But Reuters reported last year that internal company records and other evidence show 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.” J & J needs to come clean — their entire company was built on the motto safety first.
The Cases Against J & J
The fact that the company appears to have known of the asbestos in its talcum powder but publicly denied it has been a key factor in its losses in court.
The New York Times reported last year that an “executive at Johnson & Johnson said the main ingredient in its best-selling baby powder could potentially be contaminated by asbestos, the dangerous mineral that can cause cancer. He recommended to senior staff in 1971 that the company “upgrade” its quality control of talc.”
Johnson’s Baby Powder was created by the company more than 125 years ago as packets of talc used to treat skin irritation, but then mothers began applying the talc to infants’ diaper-chafed skin. The company realized that it would be a huge seller so they added a fragrance that would become one of the most recognizable in the world, and began selling it in 1893 as Johnson’s Baby Powder. In the late 1950s, J&J discovered that talc from its chief source mine contained a substance called tremolite that can sometimes be found in talc deposits as crystalline fiber known as asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. The World Health Organization says there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos and although most people exposed to asbestos never develop cancer, for some, even small amounts of asbestos are enough to trigger the disease years later.
Why This Matters: A study of 30,000 firefighters from 2010 to 2015 found that firefighters have an increased risk of many different cancers including: leukemia, malignant mesothelioma, bladder and prostate cancers, lung cancer, brain cancer, and digestive and oral cancers.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer World Health Organization expert Dr. Peter Ben Embarek revealed this week that the organization’s team of researchers have found two scenarios that could have transferred COVID-19 to humans. He acknowledges that COVID-19 could have been transmitted through frozen products at the Wuhan fish market, but the most likely scenario […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study published Monday has found that a second, sneezier plague is ramping up. Allergy seasons have increased in duration by an average of 20 days since 1990. Why? Rising temperatures and an abundance of atmospheric carbon are increasing the amount of pollen in the air, and researchers say the […]
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