After 100 years, Johnson & Johnson is discontinuing the product that made the company well-known, and that is the talc-based baby powder.
Talc-based baby powder phased out
The company released a statement on their official website on May 19 and they stated that they had re-evaluated their products in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. In March, the company stopped shipping items in Canada and the US, and their purpose was to prioritize the products that are of high demand and to make room for social distancing at their distribution and manufacturing facilities.
Johnson & Johnson will permanently discontinue 100 products, including Johnson's Baby Powder. This decision will only impact sales in Canada and the US, as the company will continue to sell its products in other markets.
According to the company, there was a decline in demand for baby powder. However, the company's cornstarch-based powder will still be distributed.
Is talcum powder safe to use?
Johnson & Johnson are confident in the quality and the safety of their products, but the company has been faced with thousands of lawsuits filed by women who have developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder regularly. Numerous cases are in different stages in courtrooms across America.
Other companies that manufacture talcum powders have put warning labels on their products, but Johnson & Johnson refused to do it as they want to stand by their product. Numerous scientific studies have shown that there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer on women who uses talc powder in their genital area. However, there are those who had no signs of ovarian cancer despite using the powder regularly. With these, experts suggest that more research and study is needed.
Johnson & Johnson lawsuits
A set of lawsuits accused the company of adding asbestos in their powder, as samples of asbestos were found in the product. The company stated that its products are asbestos-free since the 1970s. In October 2019, the company suffered a major loss when the jury in New Jersey sided with four people who filed the lawsuit.
They claimed that the talcum powder of Johnson & Johnson contained asbestos and now they are all diagnosed with cancer.The jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $37.2 million to the four people who filed the lawsuit in order to compensate them for the damages.
The 65-year-old Douglas Barden, the 57-year-old David Etheridge, the 41-year-old D'Angela McNeill-George, and the 46-year-old Will Ronning claimed that they were diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos that is allegedly found in the baby powder. They also stated in their case that they have been exposed to the harmful chemical since they were children since that was the product that their parents used on them.
According to the lawyers of the company, asbestos was not detected in the company's products and they argued that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the cancers that they developed were due to asbestos exposure. The lawyers had also made more than 12 motions for a mistrial throughout the trial. After the verdict, Johnson & Johnson made an appeal to the decision of the jury.