Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that it’s initiating a voluntary recall in the United States of its popular Johnson’s Baby Powder due to low levels of asbestos contamination.
According to CNN, the recall is limited to one lot of baby powder bottles produced and shipped in the United States last year and comes in response to a US Food and Drug Administration test that found levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination in samples from a bottle purchased online, the company said in a statement.
“I understand today’s recall may be concerning to all those individuals who may have used the affected lot of baby powder,” Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said on Friday. “I want to assure everyone that the agency takes these concerns seriously and that we are committed to our mandate of protecting the public health.”
Anyone with a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder from lot #22318RB, which includes 33,000 bottles, are being advised to discontinue using the product and can contact the company for a refund.
The company said in its announcement that they had “ immediately initiated a rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter, and is working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results.”
The FDA noted in its statement that it has been conducting an ongoing survey of cosmetic products for asbestos since 2018 and to date has tested about 50 cosmetic products.
As part of that testing, two samples of Johnson’s Baby Powder were tested: one sample from lot #22318RB, which was found to be positive for asbestos, and a second from lot #00918RA, which tested negative.
Rutgers published a report last year that revealed the company was aware for decades of asbestos in its baby powder but did not disclose that information to the public.
Lawsuits were filed against the company in the United States alleging that asbestos in its talcum powder caused cancer and some suits resulted in verdicts against Johnson & Johnson with multi-million dollar awards to its plaintiffs.