Nonprofits Call for Worldwide Halt of J&J Baby Powder Sales

Asbestos Exposure & Bans
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 07/13/2020
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed

Asbestos.com is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us

Testimonials

"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Lashawn
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite Asbestos.com’s Article

APA

Povtak, T. (2020, October 16). Nonprofits Call for Worldwide Halt of J&J Baby Powder Sales. Asbestos.com. Retrieved October 6, 2022, from https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/13/asbestos-talc-ban-johnson-johnson/

MLA

Povtak, Tim. "Nonprofits Call for Worldwide Halt of J&J Baby Powder Sales." Asbestos.com, 16 Oct 2020, https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/13/asbestos-talc-ban-johnson-johnson/.

Chicago

Povtak, Tim. "Nonprofits Call for Worldwide Halt of J&J Baby Powder Sales." Asbestos.com. Last modified October 16, 2020. https://www.asbestos.com/news/2020/07/13/asbestos-talc-ban-johnson-johnson/.

johnsons baby powder

National advocacy group Black Women for Wellness joined more than 170 other nonprofits from 51 countries last week in demanding that Johnson & Johnson stop the worldwide distribution of its iconic Johnson’s Baby Powder.

The demand for a global distribution ban stems from the potential for asbestos in talc, which has led to various cancers and thousands of personal injury lawsuits.

A majority of talc cases pertain to women and ovarian cancer. A small percentage of the legal claims involve mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer caused primarily by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers.

Johnson & Johnson announced in May that it would end talc-based baby powder sales within the United States and Canada, citing a decline in consumer demand and “misinformation” about the safety of the product.

Many advocacy groups believe the move did not go far enough, allowing the continued sale of existing inventory in the U.S. and unlimited sales around the world.

Groups Urge J&J CEO to Further Address Issues of Race

The organizations digitally signed and sent their demand for a global ban to Alex Gorsky, Johnson & Johnson chief executive officer, who had issued a statement recently supporting ongoing calls for racial justice.

Janette Robinson Flint, executive director of Black Women for Wellness, said Gorsky’s statement of support for racial justice was contradictory to the continued marketing of Johnson’s Baby Powder.

“This is a pivotal moment in our time, in our planet’s history, and a time for Johnson & Johnson to step up to the plate,” Robinson Flint told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “Given Mr. Gorsky’s solidarity with Black Lives Matter, we expect him to lead an accountable, corporate partner in saving the planet and the women who live here. Johnson & Johnson does not need to be dumping an unhealthy product on Black women anywhere.”

Johnson & Johnson has remained steadfast in its assertion that its talc-based baby powder is safe to use and continues to manufacture and sell the product in countries outside the U.S. and Canada where it says demand is higher.

“It’s really important they also discontinue selling it abroad, especially in places like Africa, Asia and Latin America,” Isabelle Chaudry, senior policy manager at National Women’s Health Network in Washington, D.C., told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “If racism in any form is unacceptable, as Alex Gorsky states, then Johnson & Johnson must address its own racist practices, including the gross targeting of Black and Brown communities.”

Vast Support Among Advocates for Global Johnson’s Baby Powder Ban

Chaudry and Robinson Flint are just two of many who believe Johnson & Johnson should discontinue selling Johnson’s Baby Powder everywhere.

Signing the demand were representatives from myriad public health, conservation, human rights and environmental health and justice nonprofits, along with educational and municipal institutions around the world.

Linda Reinstein of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in the U.S., Laurie Kazan-Allen from the United Kingdom’s International Ban Asbestos Secretariat and Anna Nowak of National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases in Australia were among the signees.

Johnson & Johnson continues to fight the lawsuits against it aggressively. It lost its latest legal fight in June when a Missouri Court of Appeals upheld an earlier Johnson & Johnson talc-asbestos verdict saying that its talc products had caused ovarian cancer in 22 women. Johnson & Johnson said it would appeal again in the state Supreme Court.

Asbestos in Talc Still Being Debated

The hidden dangers of talc contaminated with microscopic asbestos fibers stem from the mining of the two naturally occurring minerals. They often are found in close proximity near the Earth’s surface.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it had found asbestos in nine of 52 cosmetic-talc products it tested during a year-long study. Johnson’s Baby Powder was one of the nine. The other eight were women’s makeup products.

Various methods of testing for contamination often are at issue.

“Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder. We continue to offer this product in many other regions around the world, where there is higher consumer demand,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement last week.

Free Mesothelioma Resources
Get Access to Free Resources for Patients & Loved Ones