Walmart and Rite Aid are following CVS Health’s lead and are pulling all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder from their shelves following Johnson & Johnson’s recall last week of one lot (about 33,000 bottles) of its iconic baby powder after tests revealed the talcum powder was tainted with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
CVS Health warned customers who bought 22-ounce bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder from CVS locations to stop using the powder and return it to CVS for a refund. “We also initiated a ‘Do Not Sell’ register prompt in our stores to prevent the sale of this item during the product removal process,” CVS Health said in a statement to CNBC. CVS has more than 9,900 locations nationwide, and began pulling the bottles last week after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the recall.
Walmart and Rite Aid followed suit shortly afterward, announcing they had pulled the product from their shelves and put a block system in place to prevent sales of the product.
Johnson & Johnson faces a growing number of lawsuits over claims that its talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Many of the lawsuits claim that the talc Johnson & Johnson used is tainted with asbestos, and that the company has known for decades about the asbestos contamination but failed to warn consumers.
It is important to note when talking about talc and ovarian cancer, asbestos is only part of the entire picture. Research uncovered during litigation points to studies showing talcum powder, when used for feminine hygiene, causes cancer regardless of whether asbestos is found in a bottle. Talc, mined from the earth, contains elements including fibrous talc, platy talc, heavy metals and fragrances – all found in every bottle of baby powder – that have been linked to the development of ovarian cancer.
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.