Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has been having a strong year, trading at near all-time highs despite ongoing developments of its collection of 12,000 pending lawsuits against it over the presence of asbestos in its talcum-based baby powder. The dam may have broken some today, as Reuters has now reported that the company has known about potential asbestos contamination for decades.
Exposure to asbestos can cause many types of cancer, including mesothelioma, a rare and painful cancer that usually only afflicts people who were exposed to asbestos while working in mines. Johnson & Johnson has denied accusations that its trusted product was ever tainted.
J&J lawyers said: “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free. The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory. Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory.”
Attorney Peter Bicks told Reuters in an email. “The scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc. This is true even if – and it does not – Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc had ever contained minute, undetectable amounts of asbestos.”