Recall: FDA Sees Trace Asbestos in J&J Baby Powder

baby powder
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 18, 2019 -- A shipment of baby powder has been recalled by Johnson & Johnson after U.S. authorities found asbestos in it.

The recall comes after months of denial from the company about the presence of the cancer-causing substance in its talc-based products, The New York Times reported Friday.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found trace levels of chrysotile asbestos in samples from a bottle of baby powder bought from an online retailer, according to Johnson & Johnson.

The recalled lot of baby powder is #22318RB and includes 33,000 bottles sold by an unidentified retailer, said company spokesman Ernie Knewitz. He added that this is the first time Johnson & Johnson has pulled its baby powder from the market, The Times reported.

Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who allege that baby powder and other talc-based products triggered cancer in them.

Some of the plaintiffs have mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer associated with asbestos exposure, and others have ovarian cancer, which has also been linked to asbestos, The Times reported.

Johnson & Johnson said FDA testing as recently as last month found no trace of asbestos. The company says the FDA's most recent test found "sub-trace levels" of asbestos in samples from a single bottle.