Johnson & Johnson to Discontinue Talc-based Baby Powder
By Pat Battaglia
On August 11, 2022, the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) company announced that they will end worldwide sales of their talcum-based baby powder and switch to a formula based on corn starch by 2023. For many years, health and justice organizations, government agencies, investigative journalists, cancer survivors and advocates, and other concerned people have called for this change, citing studies that suggest using talcum powder (also called talc) in the genital area can increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.
Talc deposits in the earth are often found in the same places as asbestos deposits, and talc can become contaminated during the mining process. Testing done by J&J from 1972 -1975(1) confirmed this contamination, as did FDA testing in 2019.(2) Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen.(3)
J&J’s iconic, talc-based baby powder has been marketed and sold for a variety of uses in children and adults, as well as to communities of color. Numerous lawsuits have been filed to hold the company accountable for the sales of this product and the marketing practices that have fueled those sales.
As advocates, we are hailing the withdrawal of J&J’s talc-based baby powder as a long-awaited victory.
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