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Major US retailers pull Johnson & Johnson baby powder off shelves after asbestos found

Major US retailers pull Johnson & Johnson baby powder off shelves after asbestos found
Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid are pulling all containers of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) 22-ounce baby powder after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found sub-trace amounts of asbestos.

CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis told CNBC the company “is complying with Johnson & Johnson’s voluntary recall of Johnson’s Baby Powder 22 oz. and is removing this product from all stores and from CVS.com.”

He added: “We also initiated a ‘Do Not Sell’ register prompt in our stores to prevent the sale of this item during the product removal process.”

The pharmacy chain has also warned customers who had purchased the product from CVS locations to discontinue use and return the item for a refund.

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The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, also said it removed and blocked all of the recalled baby powder, as did Rite Aid.

“Rite Aid informed all stores to pull all product from shelves and store it in a secure location. Additionally, we’ve applied a point of sale system block for this product to prevent it from being sold,” Rite Aid said.

Last week, J&J voluntarily recalled an estimated 33,000 bottles of its 22-ounce baby powder after the FDA found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online. The watchdog’s test indicated the presence of no greater than 0.00002 percent of chrysotile asbestos in the tested sample.

Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals often found in talc, which is widely used in cosmetics. Exposure to it may increase the risk of a number of diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

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J&J is working with investigators to determine the integrity of the test sample and the validity of the test results, the company said in a press release.

The US pharmaceutical company, which is facing thousands of lawsuits related to products containing talc, has repeatedly said that its talc products are safe and asbestos-free.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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