When a company becomes a household name, like Johnson & Johnson's has with their baby powder, also known as talcum powder, they tend to receive the respect and trust of both consumers and officials. Unfortunately, the respect of officials in positions of legal authority for a brand or company could lead to insufficient or lackluster legal oversight.
Johnson & Johnson is a prime example. Because of how large and well-known the company is, regulators around the world likely trust their product as safe. However, in the face of evidence that the company knew about potential asbestos contamination for decades and did nothing to reduce the risk to consumers or warn them has increased scrutiny of the company and its products.
India is now retaining talcum powder for testing
Johnson & Johnson sells its products, including its baby powder product, all over the world. India, home to billions of people, is one of the largest markets in the world. Johnson & Johnson now has to worry about whether reports of asbestos contamination will eat into their sales and profits on the Indian subcontinent.
Officials there have confirmed that they are retaining samples of the company's talcum powders for chemical testing. In light of reports of contamination, the government wants to ensure that the product is safe before continuing to allow it into the hands of consumers.
This extra testing step could keep some people safe, as exposure to contaminated talcum powder could be the cause of cancers that develop later in life. It also comes as Johnson & Johnson attempts to push back against financial culpability for other product issues in India's courts. Only time will tell what the results of the chemical testing will reveal.
Asbestos in talcum powder could make consumers sick
Asbestos, like talcum, is a naturally occurring mineral with multiple practical uses. Unlike talcum powder, asbestos has a direct correlation with several kinds of cancers, including mesothelioma. Reproductive cancers have also been reported in those with frequent exposure via talcum powder. Unfortunately, the two minerals often exist in close proximity to one another.
Although Johnson & Johnson continues to claim their product is not contaminated and has no correlation with cancer, they have lost multiple lawsuits already. They face dozens more and will likely face additional ones in the future as more people face a diagnosis of cancer after years or even decades of using Johnson & Johnson products.
Those diagnosed with serious cancers who believe it may relate to talcum powder use should consult with an attorney about those suspicions. The right legal advice can help people understand what they can expect in compensation in a potential legal case related to contaminated talcum powder.