The Cosmetics Industry Remained Above Government Regulation and Ignored Talcum Powder Asbestos Contamination Problem
The FDA's point man on cosmetics during the asbestos scare of the 1970s was a former executive from Johnson & Johnson
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - Investigative news sources at Reuters.com have published the second scathing article in as many years claiming wrongdoing on the part of Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers that Johnson's Baby Powder is probably contaminated with asbestos that causes cancer. In an article dated in December 2018, Reuters wrote: "J&J knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder." Just the other day the company published another piece titled: "FDA bowed to industry for decades as alarms were sounded over talc." Both articles deal with two inert minerals that have been extracted from the earth for over a century, talc and asbestos, blasted into the air in open-pit mines adjacent to one another, and usually overlapping veins, in places all over the world. Experts and others have concluded that it is virtually impossible to assume that talc could be free from asbestos contamination as clouds of asbestos blasted from the earth moved every day for decades in the direction of the prevailing wind, settling on homes and businesses in the neighborhood. As early as the 1950's alarming news of an increase in deaths from mesothelioma in miners that were exposed to asbestos started to surface and the cancer rates for them as well as for the families that lived close by skyrocketed as well. Reuters claims that they have procured documents that were unsealed in court showing that executives at Johnson & Johnson knew for well over the last half-century that there was asbestos in their talc, chose to conceal this information to the public, and also lied to the FDA as to what they knew. Talcum powder cancer attorneys have vast experience handling medical litigations and have a winning track record against big corporations and offer a free consultation with no obligation to file a claim.
At the center of the storm currently being unleashed against the company via the most recent Reuters article is the FDA's appointee as the head of the agency's cosmetics division that looked the other way. Internal documents show that FDA cosmetics division head Heinz J. Eiermann may have known as early as 1976 that Johnson's Baby Powder talc was contaminated with asbestos and did nothing about it. It was around that time that scientists at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York "found what appeared to be asbestos in unnamed brands of talc powder." In spite of this warning, Eiermann issued the statement reflecting the official FDA stance on the findings that they could not find chrysotile and asbestos in talc at all, according to Reuters. The agency also shelved the plan to require JNJ to adopt a more strict testing method in favor of one that was unable to find the chrysotile mineral at all. The cosmetics industry was declared self-regulating and not subject to the testing scrutiny or recall regulation of the FDA. In other words, the cosmetics industry was free to do what it pleased. As a result of the FDA's failure to take action to protect public health, millions of Americans could have been unwittingly exposed to cancer-causing asbestos by using Johnson's Baby Powder.