Target is the latest national retail store pulling all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder from its shelves, one week after Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of just one lot of the talcum powder products – about 33,000 bottles – due to the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen.
CVS Health was the first retail store to announce it was pulling all 22-ounce bottles of J&J baby powder. Walmart and Rite Aid quickly followed suit. The companies also initiated a block system to prevent sales of the product.
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement saying that all products that are returned to the company through the recall process regardless of whether the product comes from the affected lot, is taken out of the supply chain and not sold to consumers.
Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of lawsuits alleging its talc causes mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by inhalation of asbestos, and ovarian cancer when the talcum powder is used on the genitals for feminine hygiene.
Some of the lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson had known for decades that the talc it used was contaminated with asbestos but failed to warn consumers of the serious health risks associated with asbestos exposure. But asbestos contamination is only part of the problem with talc.
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which conducted a review of limited evidence from human studies, perineal (genital) use of talc-based body powders is “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” whether or not it contains asbestos.
Beasley Allen lawyers Ted Meadows and Leigh O’Dell are heading up the team handling claims of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use for feminine hygiene. Sharon Zinns, who works in Beasley Allen’s Atlanta office, is leading a team handling mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma; as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma.