Tell J&J to Stop Selling Talc-Based Baby Powder!
In May 2020, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced it will stop selling its popular talc-based baby powder—which is linked to ovarian cancer in the US and Canada.
However, J&J refuses to stop selling this dangerous product globally — pushing their talc-based powder on predominately Black and Brown communities around the world. This is racist and unacceptable.
J&J has a legacy of targeting women of color. In the 70’s, when Johnson & Johnson learned of the links between ovarian cancer and talc-based powder, instead of pulling its product from store shelves, it decided to more aggressively market to Black & Brown communities.
Earlier this year, J&J’s CEO, Alex Gorsky, released a statement pledging to address racism and to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Continuing to target Black communities with predatory marketing of a product linked to cancer is not a sign that Johnson & Johnson cares about the Black community.
Women’s Voices for the Earth and over 200 organizations from around the globe have joined Black Women for Wellness in demanding Johnson & Johnson commit to fully removing its talc-based baby powder from the global market and end the company’s targeted marketing to Black women and other historically marginalized communities. Women everywhere, especially women of color, are concerned about possible asbestos contamination in talc and the talc-ovarian cancer link. J&J should do the right thing and stop gambling with women’s health.
Join us in urging Johnson & Johnson to remove its
asbestos-contaminated talc-based baby powder from the global market now!
- Documents show J&J was aware since the late 1950s that the talc used in Johnson’s Baby Powder sometimes contained asbestos, known to cause health issues including cancer and mesothelioma.
- Instead of warning consumers about possible health risks, J&J instead doubled down on aggressively marketing its talc-based baby powder to women of color, distributing free samples in Black churches and advertising on Spanish-language radio.
- An internal J&J memo from 1992 acknowledged the potential links to cancer, while simultaneously recommending increased marketing to African American and Hispanic women.
- This summer, a Missouri court awarded a $2.1 billion settlement to plaintiffs who claimed that J&J’s talc-baby powder product caused their ovarian cancer. The courts agreed stating “plaintiffs proved with convincing clarity that defendants engaged in outrageous conduct because of an evil motive or reckless indifference.”
- In June, J&J’s CEO released a statement, pledging to address racism and to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Continuing to target Black communities with predatory marketing for products linked to cancer is not a sign that Johnson & Johnson cares about the Black community.
Where is J&J Still Selling their Toxic Talc?
Which companies are still selling talc-based baby powder?
In 2017, WVE identified 28 powder products that contained talc. In 2020 we went back to those 28 products to find out what had changed. Overall WVE’s data found a significant shift in the body powder market – with 22 out of 28 products (78%!) originally identified in 2017 as containing talc are either off the market, or reformulated with corn starch. Learn more.
Asbestos-Cancer Concerns with Johnson & Johnson Talc-Based Baby Powder: The Problem and the Global NGO Response.
Download and print this fact sheet for helpful background information, including health concern associated with talc exposure, campaign asks and goals, J&J’s history of its baby powder sales, and a brief summary of its supply chain. Click here.