On May 19, Johnson & Johnson announced that it will end sales of Johnson’s Baby Powder made with talcum powder in North America, but they will continue to sell cornstarch-based baby powder.
Sales of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will continue outside the U.S. and Canada.
The company cited declining demand for Baby Powder in its decision to end sales, which it blamed on “misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
Nearly 20,000 lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. by women who developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or other side effects after regularly applying talc-based Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.
Johnson & Johnson has also been hit with over a billion dollars in jury verdicts since 2017, including a $325 million verdict in June 2019 to a woman with mesothelioma.
The lawsuits claim that talcum powder is a carcinogen that can be absorbed into a woman’s ovaries when it is applied to the genital area. Lawsuits also claim that breathing talcum powder is a risk-factor for mesothelioma.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson recalled a limited amount of Johnson’s Baby Powder after it tested positive for asbestos, a carcinogen that is linked to mesothelioma. Asbestos is also a frequent contaminant in talc mines.