According to the notice from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc, a single lot of Johnson's Baby Powder was recalled "out of an abundance of caution," after federal tests discovered "sub-trace levels" of chrysotile asbestos in a bottle purchased from an online retailer.
The company recalled all bottles in made in that batch. Consumers can tell if they have one of the recalled bottles by matching the Lot #22318RB.
J&J also said the company had immediately initiated a a "rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter," and their investigators were working with the FDA to determine "the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results." The company noted in its release that they could not confirm whether the sample had been exposed to cross-contamination, which could generate a false positive or whether the sample was taken from a bottle with an intact seal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says exposure to chrysotile asbestos can cause various forms of cancer, including lung, larynx and ovary cancer. Evidence suggests that asbestos exposure can also cause cancer of the pharynx, stomach and colorectum as well as cause other diseases such as asbestosis and pleural disease.
The company has also become embroiled in thousands of lawsuits over one of the ingredients in its baby powder. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have accused J&J of hiding the cancer risk associated with the talc in its baby powder over the course of decades. A Virginia woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 was awarded $110 million by a jury over the summer.
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