Johnson & Johnson Issues Baby Powder Recall Over Asbestos Concerns

At the end of last week, Johnson & Johnson announced the beginning of a voluntary recall of its popular Baby Powder, in the United States, on concerns of asbestos contamination. 

It should be noted that the recall is limited to just one lot of baby powder bottles that were produced and shipped in the US, last year.  Also, this recall is the company’s response to response to a US Food and Drug Administration test that determined the presence of low levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination; and these bottles were purchased online. 

Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless explains, “I understand today’s recall may be concerning to all those individuals who may have used the affected lot of baby powder.  I want to assure everyone that the agency takes these concerns seriously and that we are committed to our mandate of protecting the public health.” 

Sharpless goes on to say, “The FDA continues to test cosmetic products that contain talc for the presence of asbestos to protect Americans from potential health risks.”

To be more transparent, the company has revealed the potentially contaminated bottles came from lot #22318RB. Also, there could be as many as 33,000 total bottles affected. Obviously, the company recommends that consumers discontinue use of the product and, if desired, contact the company for a refund. 

In addition, Johnson & Johnson wants to be clear that the levels of asbestos contamination found were no greater than 0.00002 percent. Still, this is an early stage of the investigation, so there is no confirmation yet as to whether there has been any cross-contamination or whether any samples came from bottles with intact seals, or even if the products tested are authentic.  

In light of all this, the FDA stands by the quality of its testing procedures and the results thereof.  Specifically, they note that they have no awareness of any adverse affects or events in relation to this exposure. To reiterate: the recall is simply out of caution.