Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit News

Johnson's Baby Powder Cancer Trials May Pivot on Which Asbestos Testing Method is Adopted

Johnson & Johnson and the cosmetics industry is fighting to maintain lax asbestos testing standards that have been in place for decades

Thursday, December 12, 2019 - Johnson & Johnson is adamant that there is no asbestos in the talc from which they manufacture Johnson's Baby Powder and are fighting the FDA in the court of public opinion. Johnson & Johnson spokespersons have come out in recent days to announce to the media that they have tested 15 bottles of Johnson's Baby Powder and cannot find asbestos in any of them. The company refutes the findings of the FDA that found the cancer-causing mineral by using a more sensitive testing method. The FDA tried over 50 years ago to get Johnson & Johnson to adopt the more sensitive method but Johnson & Johnson and the then head of the FDA's cosmetics division felt that the methods that the company and cosmetics industry use were good enough. If tens of thousands of plaintiffs that allege to have developed ovarian cancer and mesothelioma are to be believed, they were not. Talcum powder cancer lawyers offer a free no obligation consultation before filing a claim.

Two distinct asbestos testing procedures are in use today, one by Johnson & Johnson scientists and the cosmetics industry, and another testing method used by plaintiff expert witnesses and the Food and Drug Administration. The US Government has weighed in on the subject and The House Committee on Oversight and Reform the other day published their thoughts on asbestos methods in an article titled: "Examining Carcinogens in Talc and the Best Methods for Asbestos Detection." The hearing brought to light the fact that the industry method uses two types of testing both of which are not sensitive enough to detect low levels of asbestos. Asbestos and mesothelioma experts agree that no level of exposure to asbestos is safe as the mineral is inert, accumulates in ovary, lung, and stomach tissues over time and leads to cancer. The House Committee determined "Industry methods for detecting asbestos in talc primarily involve two testing methods: polarized light microscopy (PLM), and the use of an analytical transmission electron microscope (ATEM). Both PLM and ATEM have been criticized for lacking proper sensitivity to detect very low levels of asbestos contamination. Laboratories with which industry and FDA contract to do asbestos detection in talc testing almost entirely rely upon these methods."

Dr. William Longo, a Georgia-based microscope researcher with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, and the President of Materials Analytical Services LLC testified as having served as an expert witness for plaintiffs suing over Johnson's Baby Powder causing cancer. Dr. Longo criticized the asbestos testing methods that have been adopted by the cosmetics industry as being useless. "The cosmetic talc industry has, in that time, accumulated hundreds, if not thousands of testing results that report no detectable or quantifiable asbestos. These reports, regarded by the manufactures as negative, very misleading as they result from analytical and methodological techniques with poor detection limits." Dr. Longo testified.

Thousands of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson may be affected by which asbestos testing methods the government determines to be the most appropriate. A December 2018 investigative report in Reuters claims that the company has known for over fifty years that asbestos "lurked" in the talc supply that Johnson & Johnson uses to make baby powder and that Johnson & Johnson was uninterested in finding it.

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