J&J draws line under Baby Powder asbestos scandal with test results

New tests were carried out by two third party labs, who confirmed no asbestos was present

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has said that its Baby Powder is ‘safe’ to use after third party tests failed to find traces of asbestos.

The tests were undertaken in reaction to a product recall by the firm in October, after tests initiated by the FDA by AMA Analytical Services (AMA) found traces of the substance in a batch of its Baby Powder.

J&J said: “Our talc is safe and asbestos free, and these 150 plus tests, and the tests we routinely do to ensure the quality and safety of our talc-based products are consistent with the results from renowned independent research labs over the past 40 years.”

Over the course of J&J’s investigation into its talc, 155 tests were conducted by certification agency Bueno Veritas and analytical lab RJ Lee Group on samples from the Jizhua Quarry Talc Mine in Guangxi, China.

J&J said it had ruled out mine and manufacturing supply chain as a cause for AMA’s asbestos findings.

But, according to J&J, testing protocols at AMA “deviated from standard practice” and it did not “execute a full asbestos confirmation”.

The company said the probable cause for the FDA results was either test sample contamination or an error by AMA’s analyst.

This comes a month after J&J concluded a portable air conditioner was contaminated with asbestos and was the cause for the positive results.

J&J has been at the centre of a number of legal battles regarding its alleged asbestos-contaminated Baby Powder and has paid out more than US$4bn in damages.

J&J and AMA have been contacted for comment.

J&J's asbestos saga timeline