Johnson & Johnson faces legal nightmare over its baby powder and asbestos.
In lawsuits awarding people billions of dollars the company disputes that its popular baby powder contains traces of asbestos.
The company is fighting 11,700 lawsuits over the issue.
And here is the kicker.
The company was concerned for decades that there was the possibility there was asbestos in its baby powder
And it was the news agency Reuter that broke the story to the public.
Reuters says from 1971 to the early 2000s, company employees were aware of two critical issues.
Raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.
The company refused to be interviewed for the Reuters story.
Talcum powder is made from talc.
It is a clay mineral composed of silicon, magnesium and oxygen.
And people have been using talcum powder since ancient Egypt.
But talc in its most natural form contains asbestos.
Reuters looked at a lawsuit Johnson & Johnson was facing this summer.
Johnson & Johnson Faces Legal Nightmare
It involved 22 women.
They sued saying the company’s baby powder caused their ovarian cancer.
They won and were awarded $4.7 billion (U.S.).
And that lawsuit – revealed in old company documents – that traces of asbestos were found in the baby talcum.
But that information did not receive widespread dissemination until Reuters examined it.
Reuters in its story, Friday, December 14, 2018, says that talc that makes baby powder powdery had been used going back to the 1970s.
And that talc contained traces of asbestos.
But the company never revealed that to the public or the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.
“J&J has said it will appeal the recent verdicts against it. It has maintained in public statements that its talc is safe, as shown for years by the best tests available, and that the information it has been required to divulge in recent litigation shows the care the company takes to ensure its products are asbestos-free.
” It has blamed its losses on juror confusion, “junk” science, unfair court rules and overzealous lawyers looking for a fresh pool of asbestos plaintiffs.”