On January 6, 2020, a California state court judge announced that a case against Johnson & Johnson related to allegations that its talcum powder products contained asbestos had settled midtrial. The details of the settlement were not immediately available.
The plaintiffs alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products contained asbestos which caused mesothelioma. In October 2019, a test conducted by the FDA found one sample of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder contained asbestos, which prompted a voluntary recall of a certain lot of the products. According to the company, later testing conducted by two independent labs found no asbestos. The now-settled case is one of several alleging that talcum powder products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma, but among the first that would have asked a jury to consider the impact of the FDA’s October findings.
The FDA updated its safety alert on cosmetic products containing asbestos several times in 2019. For more information about FDA action regarding talc and asbestos, please see our post: Talc, Asbestos, and FDA Regulation of Cosmetics.