Did Johnson & Johnson cover up possible asbestos contamination in its baby powder?

In case you've not read about the allegations that Johnson & Johnson covered up possible asbestos contamination in its baby powder, read this article by Roni Caryn Rabin and Tiffany Hsu.

We've posted before (for instance, here) about suits against Johnson & Johnson alleging that talc in baby powder caused the plaintiffs' ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs won large verdicts in some cases. Johnson & Johnson says there's no link between baby powder and ovarian cancer, and the National Cancer Institute has said that "[t]he weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer."

But the Rabin-Hsu article points out that "asbestos, unlike talc, is an indisputable carcinogen. Even trace amounts are considered dangerous. Its dagger-like fibers penetrate deep into tissue and can lead decades later to cancer of the lungs, voice box and ovaries, and to mesothelioma." Rabin and Hsu quote a lawyer who has defended asbestos makers saying that the asbestos concern “puts the defense in a much more difficult position. You get a much higher degree of indignation from juries.”

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