Retailers are pulling Johnson’s baby powder from store shelves
(CNN) — Several retailers have pulled Johnson’s baby powder from shelves after Johnson & Johnson announced earlier this month it was recalling 33,000 bottles due to asbestos concerns.
The recall, which is limited to the 22-ounce size produced and shipped in the United States last year, was initiated in response to a US Food and Drug Administration test that found low levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination in samples from a bottle purchased online, according to the company.
CVS, Target, Walgreens and Rite Aid said on Friday they had removed all 22-ounce bottles of the baby powder from store shelves.
Walmart said it had removed recalled Johnson’s baby powder.
“We pulled every bottle linked to that UPC that was assigned to that lot,” said Erin Hulliberger, a Walmart spokesperson. “The only action we’ve taken is with products impacted by the Johnson & Johnson recall.”
People with a bottle of the powder from lot #22318RB are advised to stop using the product and can contact the company for a refund.
Johnson & Johnson said this month it has launched an investigation and is “working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results,” according to the company’s announcement.
The levels of asbestos found were no more than 0.00002%, Johnson & Johnson said, and it has not been confirmed whether cross contamination with other products occurred, whether the sample came from a sealed bottle or whether the product tested is authentic.
Last week, the FDA said it stands by the quality of its testing and results, and noted that the agency is not aware of any adverse events related to exposure to the lot of affected products.
“FDA handling of the sample and testing followed standard operating procedures for laboratory analysis and FDA sees no indication of cross-contamination,” FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer wrote in an email to CNN.
“FDA will be working with Johnson & Johnson to facilitate further investigation to substantiate that the product is authentic. At this time, there is no indication that the product is counterfeit. Additionally, FDA is not aware of any records pointing to counterfeit Johnson’s baby powder in the US market,” Meyer’s email said.
Talc is an ingredient commonly used in cosmetic items such as baby powder and blush. Johnson & Johnson said its talc comes from ore sources confirmed to meet cleanliness specifications, and that thousands of tests over the past 40 years have found no asbestos.
Lawsuits have been filed against the company alleging that asbestos in its talcum powder causes cancer. A California jury delivered a $25.75 million verdict against the company in May 2018, saying the company was negligent and did not warn consumers about possible health risks from its baby powder.