I never thought I’d be writing about a product as iconic and seemingly harmless as baby powder. But I suppose there’s a first time for everything. And let’s face it — this story is too terrifying not to tell.
Listen to this: It’s recently been revealed that, for years, Johnson & Johnson baby powder — the most well-known brand of the bunch — was being made with talc that contained cancer-causing asbestos. And regulators, not to mention consumers, were none the wiser.
This discovery isn’t quite as random as it sounds — after all, talc and asbestos often appear together naturally within the earth. Mining was bound to turn up contaminated product eventually…
But was it still a deliberate cover-up? Almost certainly, nevertheless.
A lethal company secret, exposed
This story first broke after one woman became determined to identify the cause of her mesothelioma — a type of cancer with direct links to asbestos exposure. Ultimately, her lawyers sued J&J. But the company was able to avoid surrendering internal records — including previous talc test results.
Until recently, that is.
There are now roughly 13,000 plaintiffs claiming that J&J talc has caused their cancer — including thousands of women with ovarian cancer. And the company has been forced to share their previously secret documents with the courts.
The truth: From as early as 1971 to the 2000s, J&J talc products tested positive for asbestos. Often enough that folks in charge — company executives, scientists, lawyers — were wringing their hands over how to deal with the problem.
But of course, they never did. Or at least, not publicly.
This information was never disclosed. And what’s worse, the company launched a successful campaign to influence U.S. regulation on asbestos in talc products.
In the mid-70s, when the FDA was considering limits on asbestos in cosmetic products, J&J insisted that no asbestos had been “detected in any sample” of theirs between 1972 and 1973.
But of course, they failed to mention that no fewer than three tests — at three different labs — had in fact found asbestos in their talc! At least one of which contained “rather high” levels.
There’s no safe level of asbestos exposure
Bear in mind that this controversy only covers a tiny portion of all the baby powder produced. The rest of it hadn’t ever even been tested. So who knows the true extent of this situation…
But let’s be clear: There’s NO safe level of exposure to asbestos. Period.
Most people will never develop cancer when faced with exposure. But for some people, even the smallest amounts can trigger cancer — mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or other types. Up to 20 years later or more.
So it’s not a question of whether J&J products are safe now. The question is what they sold as far back as 60 years ago.
Safeguarding your health is a lifelong commitment
This is a prime example of why it’s so very important, especially when it comes to environmental toxins, that we protect ourselves. Many of these illnesses take years to rear their heads — and taking steps to prevent them before that happens is essential.
I’ve had many patients tell me that they stopped taking a certain vitamin because they weren’t feeling any benefits. But I always encourage them to stick with it anyway, because some of these supplements serve a much longer-term purpose.
Clearly, you can’t afford any lapses in vigilance when it comes to this stuff. Because as this story demonstrates, Big Business isn’t going to do you any favors. (And they aren’t going down without a lengthy, expensive court battle, either…)
As to whether any form of asbestos was actually in baby powder, will ultimately come out (or not) in the courts.
But my purpose here is to once again point out that corporations are there to make big money, not take care of people — even when they purport to be a “personal care” company.
As for talc in general, it’s worth knowing that these days, 100 percent “pure” products are impossible to find. And as such, the FDA has proposed limits of no more than 0.1 percent of asbestos.
Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society no longer assures that the personal care industry’s products are asbestos-free, and instead toe the line, stating they’re to be free of “detectable” levels of the carcinogen.
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: No level of asbestos has been deemed safe. The decision to roll the dice is in your hands alone.
Nevertheless, I’ll continue to do my due diligence and keep you informed so you can be a better advocate of your own health, as well as a more informed consumer. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives, for more in-depth coverage — and separating fact from fiction — when it comes to the latest in the world of health.
P.S. If you or a loved one is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, or you’d like to protect yourself from the risk of developing it in the future, I’ve developed what I call the Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future. This online learning tool is filled with simple, science-based strategies to fortify your cellular defenses — and stop cancer in its tracks. Click here to learn more, or sign up today.
“Special Report: J&J knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder.” Reuters, 12/14/18. (reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-cancer-special-report/special-report-jj-knew-for-decades-that-asbestos-lurked-in-its-baby-powder-idUSKBN1OD1RQ)