Johnson & Johnson may have known for decades that its baby powder sometimes contained asbestos, which can cause cancer.
While talc and asbestos often naturally occur together in the earth, Johnson & Johnston has long since denied the claim that talc could be contaminated with the known carcinogen – but several hundred?? Thousand? Lawsuits have been filed claiming the product did cause cancer.
Now, Reuters has examined documents that reveal the company knew about the presence of small amounts of asbestos in its products as far back as 1957 but did not disclose that to the public.
Ted Meadows represents 13 plaintiffs who claim Johnson & Johnston talc products caused ovarian cancer.
“And not only have they known about it they’ve attempted to hide it from the public and that’s exactly what they’ve been able to do for decades is hide this from the public and hide it from lawyers and hide it from people who have cancer,” said Meadows.
In a statement Friday, Johnson & Johnson maintained the Reuters article was false and said its baby powder was safe and free from asbestos. Johnson & Johnston claims testing on more than 100,000 shows “talc does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease.”
The World Health Organization and other groups say there is no safe level for asbestos exposure.
Most people who are exposed never become ill, but for some, even small amounts of asbestos exposure can bring on the disease, even decades later.