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Baby Powder recall casts new doubt on manufacturer's claims

Did Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of numerous products geared to families, know that its talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos fibers for years, if not decades?

The company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) flatly denied it, saying that "we unequivocally believe that our talc and our baby powder does not contain asbestos." This comment was made despite a well-publicized report by a Reuters Investigation team in December of last year that indicated otherwise.

Less than two weeks later, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified the company that asbestos had been found in one of its lots of baby powder -- a fact that is both embarrassing to the company and problematic. The company issued a recall for the contaminated products, but that's the least of its troubles.

Johnson & Johnson has been battling lawsuits by more than 11,000 plaintiffs who claim the company's products contained asbestos and led to their eventual cancer diagnoses. The company has long maintained that it has never had an asbestos problem.

However, after combing through the company's internal documents, released as part of the ongoing legal drama, Reuters investigators found evidence that the asbestos problem was known and was concerning to a number of Johnson & Johnson employees over the years, from executives to mine managers. In fact, the earliest mentions of asbestos contamination in the company's records started in the late 1950s and continued until the early 2000s.

Since asbestos and talc are both natural minerals that tend to form near each other, the risk of asbestos contamination in products intended for human use is a serious issue. There have been rumors and suspicions since the late 1990s about what the company actually knew.

When manufacturers negligently put the public's safety at risk and cause injuries, they can be held liable through product liability claims. If you believe that a contaminated or defective product caused your illness or injury or your loved one's death, find out more about your right to compensation.

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DelVecchio & Miller, LLC

DelVecchio & Miller, LLC
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