Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder to meet “evolving global trends”
12 Aug 2022 --- In 2023, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer Health will internationally “transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio” – replacing its iconic talc-based Baby Powder. This decision comes as Talcum Powder Compensation Center recently urged US consumers of J&J’s Baby Powder to reach out to a legal team for “millions of dollars” as compensation.
“We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth,” Melissa Witt, Director, Global Lead, Media Relations at J&J tells PersonalCareInsights.
“The transition will help simplify our product offerings, deliver sustainable innovation, and meet the needs of our consumers, customers and evolving global trends.”
Growing scrutiny and in defense of talc
Talcum powder has been under growing scrutiny over its links to cancer as the powder may contain traces of asbestos. However, J&J’s position “on the safety of its cosmetic talc remains unchanged.”
“We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer,” it affirms.
“This decision is part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, which evaluated several factors, including differences in demand for our products across geographic regions and evolving consumer trends and preferences,” adds Witt.
Despite this statement, the company has decided to stop making and selling its Baby Powder around the world.
Additionally, the company says that its talc is routinely tested to ensure it does not contain asbestos, and it has also been tested and confirmed to be asbestos-free by independent laboratories and universities.
“Cornstarch-based Johnson’s Baby Powder is already sold in countries around the world,” says the company.
Additionally, the Lawsuit Information Center reports that Judge Kaplan of the US Bankruptcy Court oversees J&J’s 38,000 talcum powder lawsuits (regarding ovarian cancer or mesothelioma) via a bankruptcy proceeding.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that published literature on talc and ovarian cancer dates to the 1960s. However, “studies have not conclusively demonstrated such a link, or if such a link existed, what risk factors might be involved.” Hence, it has ongoing research into talc risks.
“Talc is a naturally occurring mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen [and] asbestos is also a naturally occurring silicate mineral, but with a different crystal structure,” according to the FDA.
“Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen when inhaled. 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.”
The Talcum Powder Compensation Center warned that women and men who may have used J&J’s Baby Powder as a child, as a teenager or as a young person and continued to do so for years are at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Amateur or professional athletes who use baby powder for sweat or grips on balls are also at risk of developing mesothelioma.
“Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin tissue (mesothelium) that lines the lung, chest wall, and abdomen. The major risk factor for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure,” says the National Cancer Institute.
The Center shares that the typical age for a person with mesothelioma in the US is 72 years old. However, those who have used talcum powder for years and have now been diagnosed with mesothelioma can be younger.
Cases of compensation
A man exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc when making slip (for clay) during four summers at a local ceramics company was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the age of 52 and received a compensation of US$6,350,000, shares the Talcum Powder Compensation Center.
The Center highlights that similar compensations were allocated to a 71-year-old woman with mesothelioma due to baby powder use; a 43-year-old woman diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure from talcum powder use; a 35-year-old with peritoneal mesothelioma who was exposed to talc products as a baby; and a 64-year-old woman diagnosed with mesothelioma who was exposed to asbestos when diapering her children.
These cases of compensation are the results of the legal team at Danziger & De Llano law firm.
By Venya Patel
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