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Oversight Subcommittee Held Second Hearing on the Public Health Risks of Carcinogens in Consumer Products

Dec 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 11, 2019)—Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, held a hearing entitled, “Examining Carcinogens in Talc and the Best Methods for Asbestos Detection.”

TAKEAWAYS

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should release results of any confirmation tests of the agency’s October 18th, 2019 detection of asbestos in a sample of Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder.
  • Dr. Rod Metcalf testified that asbestos is detectable in talc-based products because talc and asbestos originate from the same geologic processes, are accessory minerals, and are predictably found together in nature. 
  • Since asbestos is a very small mineral that can be cancer-causing in very small concentrations, more sensitive testing methods than those routinely used by Johnson & Johnson are essential to ensuring that talc used in cosmetic products is asbestos-free.  The use of weaker testing for detecting asbestos will continue to put the public health at risk.
  • Dr. William Longo testified that decades of talc-based Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder samples tested positive for asbestos detection when more sensitive asbestos detection methods were utilized.
  • Dr. Jacqueline Moline testified that individuals who have only been exposed to asbestos through the use of talc-based Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder have developed mesothelioma—a cancerous disease only caused by exposure to asbestos.

WITNESSES

Panel One

Alex Gorsky (Invited and did not attend)
Chief Executive Officer
Johnson & Johnson

Panel Two

Dr. William Longo
Scientist
Materials Analytical Services, LLC

Dr. Professor Rod Metcalf
Geologist
University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Dr. Jacqueline Moline
Physician
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health

David Etheridge
Patient

VIDEOS 

Watch Chairman Krishnamoorthi’s opening statement.

Watch Chairwoman Maloney’s opening statement.

Watch Rep. Tlaib’s question line.

Watch David Etheridge’s witness testimony.

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Issues: 
116th Congress