In a new investigation, Reuters has revealed that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powders sometimes tested positive for asbestos and the company failed to disclose this information to regulators or the public.
Reuters examined thousands of documents from over 11,000 plaintiffs that have claimed Johnson and Johnson’s talc caused their cancers. These documents, dated form years 1971 to the early 2000s, reveal that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers all knew about the test results and “fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.”
The earliest mentions of asbestos in J&J talc are back in 1957 and 1958, where a consulting lab found “fibrous and acicular tremolite” contaminants, which is one of the six minerals that in their naturally occurring fibrous form are classified as asbestos. Similar findings were found over the years all the way into the early 2000s, reported by scientists at J&J, outside labs and J&J’s supplier. The reports “identify contaminants in talc and finished powder products as asbestos or describe them in terms typically applied to asbestos, such as “fiberform” and “rods.”
J&J assured regulators in 1976 that no asbestos was “detected in any sample” of talc produced between December 1972 and October 1973, yet failed to disclose that at least three tears by three different lbs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc. One of these tests found levels that were “rather high.”
While most J&J asbestos test results did not find asbestos, Reuters notes that the company has had limitations that allow trace contaminants to go “undetected – and only a tiny fraction of the company’s talc is tested.”
Johnson & Johnson must be held accountable for their failure to disclose that asbestos was found in their products. Johnson & Johnson could stop fighting the cases that come from people personally affected by using their contaminated products. Sign the petition now if you think Johnson & Johnson should take responsibility, apologize, and take action to help people that have been affected.
If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.