Johnson & Johnson shares drop after asbestos-related recall

Johnson & Johnson said it's working with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure the testing sample wasn't contaminated. File Photo by Dan Peled/EPA

Oct. 19 (UPI) — Shares of Johnson & Johnson plunged by 6.23 percent Friday after the company recalled baby powder tainted with asbestos.

The company issued a voluntary recall on a single lot — 22318RB — of Johnson’s Baby Powder. The Food and Drug Administration found sub-trace levels of asbestos from a single bottle of baby powder purchased from an online retailer.

Johnson & Johnson said it’s working with the FDA to conduct an investigation into the integrity of the sample and validity of the test results.

The company has faced thousands of lawsuits saying its powders cause ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. In June, a California jury ordered the company and Colgate Palmolive Co. to pay nearly $10 million to a woman who blamed her cancer diagnosis on their talc-based products.

Johnson & Johnson denies its products contain asbestos or cause cancer.

The company said it conducts “rigorous testing” on its products to ensure they contain no asbestos.

“Our talc comes from ore sources confirmed to meet our stringent specifications that exceed industry standards,” a J&J statement said. “Not only do we and our suppliers routinely test to ensure our talc does not contain asbestos, our talc has also been tested and confirmed to be asbestos-free by a range of independent laboratories, universities and global health authorities.”

Johnson & Johnson shares closed at 127.70 on Friday, down 8.48 points compared to the day’s open.


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