Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid have pulled some or all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson’s baby powder from shelves to avoid confusing consumers, after a minuscule amount of asbestos was found in one bottle.
Johnson & Johnson recalled all 33,000 bottles from the same lot as that bottle last Friday, a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the company that routine testing discovered the asbestos in one bottle bought from an online retailer. The 22-ounce bottle came from a lot distributed in 2018.
Baby powder bottles in other sizes are still available from retailers.
The recall comes as J&J is fighting thousands of lawsuits alleging the talc in its iconic baby powder was contaminated with asbestos and gave plaintiffs ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. The company has insisted that tests of its product over 40 years have not found asbestos contamination.
Johnson & Johnson is working with the FDA to investigate how the asbestos got into the single bottle, including whether it was tampered with. J&J advised consumers to stop using any bottles from the lot, #22318RB.
“As a safeguard, we’ve pulled all 22-ounce bottles until Johnson & Johnson” finishes investigating, Rite Aid spokesman Chris Savarese said Friday, adding the bottles were put in storage.
A Walmart spokeswoman said it had removed all 22-ounce bottles bearing the same UPC barcode as the recalled lot, but other 22-ounce bottles are still available.
Walmart and Rite Aid noted they set up computer system blocks to prevent customers from buying the product in case any was still on a shelf.
CVS Health said it’s removed all 22-ounce bottles from both its pharmacies and CVS.com.
“This is a normal protocol we follow out of an abundance of caution and to help prevent customer confusion in our stores,” CVS said in a statement.
It added that customers who purchased the product from a CVS pharmacy can return it for a refund.
Walgreen’s didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ—onPharma
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