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Johnson & Johnson Ceases Production of Talc-based Baby Powder Products

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on May 29, 2020

On Tuesday, May 19th, 2020, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson made the executive decision to discontinue sales of their talcum-based baby powder products in the United States and Canada. According to the company, sales have been steadily decreasing due to “misinformation” from the media surrounding talc and its dangerous potential to cause cancer. However, years of mounting backlash and lawsuits tell a different story.

The usage of talc in consumer and industrial products is nothing new. Its ability to effectively absorb moisture made for an enticing ingredient for product developers all over the world. Back in 1894, just eight years after the inception of Johnson & Johnson, the company introduced its newest product: baby powder made with crushed talc. Discovered within the soil of the Earth, this mineral is composed of magnesium, oxygen, and silicon, and is commonly found intertwined with asbestos, a well-known cancer-causing carcinogen.

For many, many years, Johnson & Johnson continued to incorporate this potentially fatal ingredient into a wide variety of products, including their incredibly popular line of baby powders. Finally, after decades of production and distribution without care, consumer advocates raised awareness to this topic in 1980. The company answered by providing a cornstarch-based alternative in the hopes of appeasing the whistle-blowers. It only fueled the fire that much more.

Early lawsuits filed against the company have since revealed that Johnson & Johnson had been aware of the asbestos contamination of their products for over fifty years, but continued to ignore its devastating effects on consumers. This shocking revelation led to federal inquiries and congressional committees being formed by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. By 2018, more than 19,000 class-action lawsuits related to ovarian cancer caused by their talcum-based products had been filed against the corporation.

To date, Johnson & Johnson has paid out more than $5 billion in settlements to plaintiffs of these lawsuits. The pharmaceutical giant maintains its innocence, stating that the company “remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder.”


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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