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Baby talc and the asbestos concern

| Updated on October 26, 2019 Published on October 26, 2019

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently alerted consumers of a voluntary recall by Johnson & Johnson of Johnson’s Baby Powder after FDA testing found that a sample from one lot of the product contains chrysotile fibres, a type of asbestos.

Consumers who have Johnson’s Baby Powder lot #22318RB should stop using it immediately and contact Johnson & Johnson for a refund. The FDA stands by the quality of its testing and results and is not aware of any adverse events relating to exposure to the lot of affected products.

A known carcinogen

During talc mining, if talc mining sites are not selected carefully and steps are not taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is a known carcinogen. It is important to note that the FDA has been conducting testing of talc-containing cosmetic products for asbestos.

Not all talc contains asbestos and the majority of product samples tested by the FDA did not contain asbestos.

“I understand today’s recall may be concerning to all those individuals who may have used the affected lot of baby powder. I want to assure everyone that the agency takes these concerns seriously and that we are committed to our mandate of protecting the public health,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “The FDA continues to test cosmetic products that contain talc for the presence of asbestos to protect Americans from potential health risks.”

Since 2018, the FDA has been conducting an ongoing survey of cosmetic products for asbestos and to date has tested approximately 50 cosmetic products. Since undertaking the testing, the agency has warned consumers when products tested positive for asbestos, advising them to stop using affected products, including not to use certain products from Claire’s and Beauty Plus Global.

Source: USFDA

Published on October 26, 2019
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