Johnson & Johnson recalls baby powder over asbestos concerns

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J&J also said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found small amounts of asbestos in one bottle, which the company is now investigating to determine how the contamination occurred and whether the bottle is counterfeit.

"Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity in the earth". Asbestos is a known carcinogen that has been linked to mesothelioma.

The company said it has conducted "thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly to confirm that our consumer talc products do not contain asbestos".

Johnson & Johnson says it is working with the Food and Drug Administration to investigate how the bottle became contaminated.

It comes as Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of crippling lawsuits claims from people who claim talcum powder products gave them cancer.

Containers of Johnson's baby powder made by Johnson and Johnson are displayed on a shelf on July 13, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif.

Johnson & Johnson said in the release: "JJCI has a rigorous testing standard in place to ensure its cosmetic talc is safe and years of testing, including the FDA's own testing on prior occasions-and as recently as last month-found no asbestos".

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According to the report, from 1971 through the early 2000s, Baby Powder periodically tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and company higher-ups did not disclose the findings.

Numerous suits are ongoing, but have already cost the company many billions of dollars.

The recall affects Lot No. 22318RB, the company said. The company, along with other health care stocks, has lagged the broader market due to a series of legal concerns. The lot number can be found on the back of the bottle, directly underneath the cap.

J&J is looking into whether cross-contamination of the sample caused a false positive, whether the product was appropriately sealed and maintained in a controlled environment, and whether the product was a counterfeit.

New Jersey-based J&J has dominated the talc powder market for more than 100 years.

J&J said it is recalling one lot of the product "out of an abundance of caution", after the FDA found "sub-trace" levels, or no greater than 0.00002%, of chrysotile asbestos contamination in a bottle purchased from an online retailer.

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