Media report reveals Johnson & Johnson may have known about presence of toxic substance in products for decades but concealed information


Boston (December 14, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today queried the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about reports that Johnson & Johnson has known for many years that its baby powder products contain asbestos — a human carcinogen that causes cancer — but concealed that information from regulators and the public. In a letter sent today to the FDA, Senator Markey calls on the FDA to begin looking into this matter immediately, using the full force of its regulatory and investigatory authority. Senator Markey wants to know whether Johnson & Johnson misled regulators and whether its baby powder products have posed, and continue to pose, a threat to public health and safety.


“Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is an iconic consumer product, used by countless American families,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to FDA Administrator Dr. Scott Gottlieb. “That the company may have concealed a potentially serious health and safety risk associated with the use of its baby powder is deeply troubling.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE


As former top Democrat on the Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Markey was a key negotiator of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which updated the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In December 2015, Senator Markey released the report, “Failing the Grade: Asbestos in America’s Schools” based on an investigation that queried all 50 states on the management of asbestos hazards in school buildings. In August 2015, Senator Markey and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) were successful in getting Amazon, DollarTree, ToysRUs and Party City to immediately stop the sale of children’s products containing asbestos after they called on the companies to stop sales when a report detailed the presence of asbestos due to contaminated talc in crayon sets and toy fingerprint kits.