Johnson & Johnson Knew About Asbestos in Baby Powder for Decades — Reuters Report

A bottle of Johnson’s baby powder is seen in

The stock market value for Johnson & Johnson dropped by 10 percent on Friday after a damaging report went public, causing the company to lose about $23 billion in value.

Thousands of women have sued Johnson & Johnson, saying they got cancer from the asbestos fibers. However, even small amounts of asbestos exposure is considered risky by the World Health Organization, having the potential to trigger disease development in some individuals years after exposure.

The report Friday, by Reuters news service, cited documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that Johnson & Johnson's baby powder can be linked to ovarian cancer.

The documents also depict successful efforts to influence USA regulators' plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc, the report states.

Customers have been using Johnson and Johnson baby powder on their skin for decades. Investors have expressed some concern over the lawsuits, though J&J has successful won a number of cases. The company denied the allegation that the product contained any lethal materials and there hasn't been any conclusive proof that using baby powder leads to getting cancer.

Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment but has vehemently denied the claims made in the report. In 1973, after the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) indicated that they might be considering proposing a rule that required all cosmetics to contain no more than.01 per cent asbestos, a scientist wrote in an internal note, "we may have problems", the report alleged.

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This year in July, a Missouri jury ordered J&J to pay $4.69 billion in a case involving 22 women and their families.

The report also mentioned that the company had commissioned and paid for studies conducted on its Baby Powder franchise and hired a ghostwriter to redraft the article that presented the findings in a journal.

A new report from Reuters said Johnson & Johnson knew its talc powder contained asbestos but didn't alert consumers.

"The scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc", Attorney Peter Bicks added. Nearly 28 million shares exchanged hands by 1830 GMT, more than three times its 25-day moving average. "Notwithstanding this, Reuters repeatedly refused to meet with our representatives to review the facts and refused to incorporate much of the material we provided them".

The documents also depict successful efforts to influence USA regulators' plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc.

Instead, she referred the Herald to a generic statement - which derides the Reuters report - provided by its parent company and referred questions to its USA head office.

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