"J&J Was Alerted to Risk of Asbestos in Talc in ’70s, Files Show"

"Johnson & Johnson trained its employees to reassure anyone concerned about whether the company’s talcum powder contained asbestos that the cancer-causing substance 'has never been found and it never will' in its iconic baby powder, according to an undated memo unsealed in a lawsuit against the drugmaker.

But plaintiffs say other unsealed documents indicate that J&J has known for decades that its talc products include asbestos fibers and that the exposure to those fibers can cause ovarian cancer. The talc used by J&J to make its products “is not now, nor has it ever been, free from asbestos and asbestiform fibers,’’ according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 50 women in St. Louis.

The unsealed documents add another dimension to the claims against J&J as it defends itself from more than 5,000 suits across the U.S. blaming its baby powder products for causing women to develop ovarian cancer. While five juries have ruled against J&J, the company has won one case and had some other claims thrown out."

Jef Feeley, Margaret Cronin Fisk, and Jared S Hopkins report for Bloomberg Septmber 21, 2017.

Source: Bloomberg, 09/25/2017