Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talcum Powder Worldwide

After Johnson & Johnson replaced its top-selling talcum powder with a cornstarch alternative in North America in 2020, the mega-corporation has now announced that it will be transitioning all of its talcum powder products to cornstarch-based formulas globally in 2023. By the end of this transition period, the original formula of J&J’s baby powder containing the mineral talc will no longer be for sale.

In 2018, a shocking investigative report published to Reuters revealed that Johnson & Johnson lied about asbestos not being found in its talcum powder during its internal testing of the product in the 1970s. Ever since that report was released to the public, the pharmaceutical corporation has been hit with wave after wave of lawsuits claiming that its baby powder caused plaintiffs to develop ovarian cancer and other health conditions.

After having to deal with tens of thousands of talcum powder lawsuits, as well as two major verdicts in 2018 and 2019, Johnson & Johnson discontinued its original baby powder in North America in 2020. In its 2020 announcement, J&J said that demand for its baby powder products had been on the decline because of “changes in consumer habits” and “misinformation around the safety of the product.” It refused to accept liability or wrongdoing for the litigation surrounding its talcum powder, stating that it would “continue to vigorously defend” the product.

Two years later, in J&J’s announcement about the global discontinuation of its original talcum powder formula, the corporation says that its position remains unchanged, insisting that its baby powder “is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.” 

However, Johnson & Johnson’s decision to replace the original talcum powder worldwide directly conflicts with its claim that its talcum powder is safe. Though the corporation stated that it made this decision to simplify its product offers and meet the needs of “evolving global trends,” it is a poorly-concealed attempt to hide the true reason for the transition: to lessen any future damages J&J could face in the lawsuit and prevent new talcum powder claims from being filed.

Though proceedings in the talcum powder lawsuit will surely continue for at least several more years, baby powder users who are worried about asbestos contamination can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Cornstarch-based baby powder does not contain any talc, meaning that there is zero risk of asbestos exposure (and, therefore, zero cancer risk) for those who use the product. Though it was done for self-sustaining reasons, J&J’s decision to replace its talcum powder products is a huge step forward in ensuring that Americans have access to safe personal care products without being at risk of unintended side effects.

Did you get sick because of Johnson & Johnson’s original formula of baby powder? If you or an immediate family member developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talcum powder, see if you qualify to receive compensation today.