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Johnson & Johnson Mesothelioma Trial Likely to Expose Company Documents

As a new mesothelioma lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson proceeds in a New Jersey courtroom, experts are anticipating the release of numerous damaging internal company documents. These memos and reports show  that as long ago as the early 1970s, company officials were questioning each other about the impact of asbestos, and specifically about how much asbestos an infant might inhale if the company’s baby powder contained a 1% concentration of the carcinogen. This type of documentation is likely to weigh heavily against the consumer products giant as they assert in court that their product has always been completely asbestos free.

There is not question that asbestos causes mesothelioma, the rare and deadly form of cancer that often claims its victims’ lives within a year of diagnosis. What is being determined in court rooms around the country is whether Johnson & Johnson and other talc companies were aware of the presence of asbestos in their product and chose not to do anything about it. The company’s internal documents seem to point in that direction.

The record reveal that while Johnson & Johnson insists that their company could not have caused mesothelioma (or ovarian cancer, which is also a question being raised), their are documents showing that they worked to have federal regulators allow up to 1 percent asbestos in their product, as well as to use a test protocol that is not sensitive enough to detect trace amounts of asbestos. In 1973 a Johnson & Johnson executive wrote, “Our very preliminary calculation indicates that substantial asbestos can be allowed safely in a baby powder,” a notion that was apparently not well accepted by an FDA official, yet the agency never introduced higher scientific testing standards.  Their efforts were so successful that the limited testing protocol is still in use today, despite evidence that talc deposits’ close proximity to asbestos deposits make cross contamination highly likely.

Though most mesothelioma diagnoses arise in people who have known asbestos exposure from workplace settings, there are many who have been diagnosed who were not exposed through their occupations. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with this rare disease and you need more information about where your exposure may have come from, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Call us today at  1-800-692-8608.


Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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