Johnson & Johnson tumbles after report says it knew for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos
- Johnson & Johnson sank 8% on Friday after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that its baby powder contained asbestos.
- Reuters reviewed documents from at least 1971 to the early 2000s that it said showed powders sometimes tested positively for small traces of asbestos.
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Reuters reviewed documents, deposition, and trial testimony from at least 1971 to the early 2000s that it said showed powders and raw talc sometimes tested positively for small traces of asbestos.
Furthermore, "company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public," the Reuters reporter Lisa Girion wrote.
Johnson & Johnson's outside litigation counsel, Peter Bicks, told Reuters its findings were false and dismissed tests cited in the report as "outlier" results.
This is not the first time the company, which also manufactures medical devices, has come under fire for issues related to its baby powder.
In July, a St. Louis jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who said its talcum baby powder gave them ovarian cancer. At the time it was the sixth-largest product-defect award in US history.
Johnson & Johnson was down a little over 2% this year.