A container of Johnson's baby powder made by Johnson & Johnson. (Getty)
  • Johnson & Johnson recalled a single batch of baby powder in the US on Friday after traces of asbestos were found in it.
  • The company said the batch was only distributed in the US, and its products in South Africa are not affected. 
  • Exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer. 
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

A baby powder recall in the United States is limited to a single batch that was only distributed in that country, and South Africa is not affected, Johnson & Johnson says.

The company recalled the baby powder on Friday after tiny amounts of asbestos contamination were found in samples from a single bottle purchased online.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests showed the presence of sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination, no greater than 0.00002%.

Prolonged exposure to asbestos has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma

In an emailed response to questions, Johnson & Johnson South Africa said the product was voluntarily recalled in the US “out of an abundance of caution”.

“In parallel, we are conducting a rigorous, thorough investigation into this matter, including working with the FDA to determine [the] integrity of the sample tested and validity of the test results,” Johnson Johnson said. 

It said thousands of tests over the past 40 years repeatedly confirmed that its consumer hydrated magnesium silicate, or talc, products do not contain asbestos. 

“We are determined to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.” 

Johnson & Johnson already face over 13,000 lawsuits over allegations of contamination of its talc-based products, including baby powder, with cancer-causing asbestos, the BBC reported.

CNN reported that some women alleged that their ovarian cancer was caused by exposure to the company’s products with asbestos.

(Compiled by James de Villiers) 

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