Johnson & Johnson and other baby powder manufacturers are being sued under California’s strict Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Health and Safety Code §25249.6. The suit alleges that J&J, along with such other suppliers and distributors of talcum powder as Gold Bond and Shower to Shower and private label brands from CVS, Dollar General, Target (a Dayton Hudson company), Walgreens and Walmart–were hiding that their talc products contained dangerous and potential deadly toxins that caused cancer, reproductive issue and birth defects.
The main thrust of the lawsuit is that a the above sellers and distributors of the baby powder, talcum powder, bath powder, etc. had a duty to provide consumers with a “clear and reasonable warning” before potentially exposing buyers of the products to the chemicals in the product. The suit alleges that the products contain arsenic, chromium, and lead, which are all toxins that are listed in CA’s Proposition 65 as chemicals that cause cancer and reproductive issues. Further, the suit alleges that the target defendants have tried to hide the presence of these chemicals in their products since at least 1976.
In other words, according to the suit, for decades, baby powder and other talcum powder products were sold and marketed as being pure and wholesome (who can forget the ever-present commercial for J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talcum powders during the 1970’s), while they contained and exposed consumers to known asbestos and other carcinogens that potentially cause cancer and other diseases.