Yes, as lawsuits claim in a litigation in 2017, certain documents were used as exhibits which essentially unsealed these documents because in the trial, unless the judge orders otherwise, exhibits are public documents.
In that trial there was evidence that showed that since 1957 there were reports from a lab that was consulting with Johnson & Johnson describing contaminants in Talc from Johnson & Johnson’s suppliers in Italy and in Vermont.
The report from this lab describes the contaminants in the talc from the Italian supplier as fibers and asicular or needle-like tremolite.
Tremolite is one of the six minerals in their naturally occurring fibrous form that are classified as asbestos.
And then following 1957 at various times through the years up into the early 2000s additional reports by scientists at Johnson & Johnson outside labs employed by Johnson & Johnson and a Johnson & Johnson supplier yield similar findings.
The reports identified contaminants in talc and finished powder products of Johnson & Johnson as containing talc and asbestos or describe them in terms typically applied to asbestos such as fiber form or rods.
And then in 1976 the FDA set limits on asbestos and cosmetic make-up products and talcum powder is considered a cosmetic product.
Now during the years in the 70s the FDA was asking Johnson & Johnson repeatedly whether their products contained asbestos and Johnson & Johnson repeatedly assured the FDA that there was no asbestos detected in samples of their talc products between the years 1972 and particularly December of 72 and October of 73.
But despite the FDA’s several inquiries to Johnson & Johnson regarding asbestos in their talc, Johnson & Johnson did not disclose to the FDA that on three different times. The tests that they ran from 72 to 75 show the presence of asbestos in their talc.
Actually some of the tests demonstrated rather high levels of asbestos in the talc from Johnson & Johnson’s products between 1972 and 1975 but Johnson & Johnson did not tell the FDA that information even though the FDA expressly asked them for that information.
And then during the 80s, 1990s, 2000s there were numerous studies associating the use of talcum products with ovarian cancer.
In fact, in December of 2018 Reuters news released a scathing investigation that uncovers information that Johnson Johnson knew that the company’s top supply sometimes has tested positive.
Then in December 2018 Reuters news released a scathing investigation that uncovered information that Johnson & Johnson knew that the company’s tax supply sometimes tested positive for asbestos from 1971 to the early 2000s.
Following on that pretty quickly in February 2019 senator Patty Murphy from Washington requested documents from Johnson & Johnson’s CEO Alex Gorsky in regards to past asbestos testing and contamination in the company’s talcum products.
In May 19th 2020 Johnson & Johnson announced that they were discontinuing their talc-based powders in the United States and Canada because of mounting lawsuits and poor demand.
I guess the demand is going down because the word’s out now that there’s an association between the use of talc-based Johnson & Johnson products and ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Currently the department of justice has an ongoing investigation into Johnson & Johnson concerning its talcum powder products. And just this past February 2020 the department of justice sent subpoenas to Johnson & Johnson determining if Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential carcinogens in its talcum powders and whether or not it lied to the federal government about it.
On some of the trial exhibits that we discussed earlier it’s obvious that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential carcinogens asbestos in their talcum powder and didn’t tell the FDA about it even though the FDA asked.
And by the way if Johnson & Johnson had found out about asbestos in their products I believe, under the FDA laws, they have the duty to tell the FDA about it as soon as they learn that their products contain asbestos.
Video source: Does Johnson & Johnson baby powder contain asbestos?
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Does Talcum Powder Have to Contain Asbestos to Be Harmful?
No let’s go over the science again. Long before asbestos was discovered in talcum powder (this discovery was made by the attorneys litigating talcum power case), it wasn’t by the government, wasn’t by the FDA, it wasn’t because Johnson & Johnson disclosed that they knew that their products may have asbestos. It was discovered by the lawyers in the litigation.
Long before that there had been a long science long trail of science performed by physicians and scientists associating talcum powder with ovarian cancer.
However in the early 1940s the science associating asbestos to what we call a fingerprint injury meaning it’s a very unique injury caused by a very unique product or contaminant. And there was an association made in the early 40s associating asbestos to mesothelioma which is a lung cancer as a result of workers being exposed to asbestos.
The first asbestos talcum powder discovery was by way of a verdict in 2018.
There are two injuries that we have to be on the lookout in people that were using Johnson & Johnson’s talc based powder products.
So when you ask if the talcum powder has to contain a specimen to be harmful, the answer is clearly no because even absent asbestos, talc-based talcum powder products can cause ovarian cancer.
Asbestos causes mesothelioma.
There has been litigation over the last four years or so on both types of cases ovarian cancer cases and mesothelioma cases both claiming that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products either caused ovarian cancer in that particular client or caused mesothelioma in that client, so now with the discovery of asbestos and talcum powder in recent years.
And when I say recent years I mean the discovery was found recently by the litigators suing Johnson & Johnson for mesothelioma. The users of talc powder are now not only exposed to ovarian cancer, but now are at an increased risk of mesothelioma which is a very dangerous cancer that generally affects the lungs. The symptoms of mesothelioma are shortness of breath, chest pain difficulty breathing, fluid building up around the lungs generally known as pleural effusion, chronic cough, dry cough.
Johnson & Johnson baby powder & asbestos: FAQ
Does Johnson & Johnson baby powder contain asbestos as lawsuits or documents claim?
There have been several reports confirming that contaminants in talc and finished powder products of Johnson & Johnson contain talc and asbestos:
- 1957 unsealed documents in 2017 show that 1957 is the earliest confirmed report that describes contaminates in talc from Johnson and Johnson’s suppliers in Italy and Vermont.
- 1976 FDA sets limits on asbestos in cosmetic talc products. Johnson and Johnson assured the FDA that no asbestos was detected in samples of talc-based products between December of 1972 and October of 1973.
- Johnson and Johnson did not disclose to the FDA that three tests run by three separate labs from 1972 – 1975 had shown the presence of asbestos in the talc. Some tests demonstrated rather high levels of asbestos in the talcum powder.
- December 2018 Reuters News released a scathing investigation that uncovers information that Johnson & Johnson knew that the company’s talc supply sometimes tested positive for asbestos from 1971 to the early 2000’s.
Does Talcum powder have to contain asbestos to be harmful?
No because even absent asbestos, talc-based baby powder products can cause ovarian cancer.
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