CVS pulls J&J baby powder from stores after asbestos-linked recall

CVS is pulling all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder from its shelves, days after the embattled pharmaceutical giant recalled about 33,000 bottles over possible traces of asbestos.

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"CVS Pharmacy 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," the company said in a statement to FOX Business. "We also initiated a 'Do Not Sell' register prompt in our stores to prevent the sale of this item during the product removal process."

Johnson's Baby Powder products and bottles of other sizes were not affected and will remain on shelves. CVS urged customers to discontinue use of any affected product purchased at one of its stores during the recall period and said it will offer refunds as needed.

"In response to the voluntary recall announced last week, CVS informed us that they are temporarily removing the 22 oz. bottle of Johnson’s Baby Powder from their shelves per their recall processes. All other Johnson’s Baby Powder products will remain on their shelves," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson's baby powder products on the shelf.

Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall of the 33,000 bottles on Oct. 18 after U.S. Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos in a single bottle purchased through an unnamed online retailer. The decision marked the first instance in which federal officials detected possible traces of asbestos in Johnson's Baby Powder.

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"Out of an abundance of caution, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (JJCI) announced that it is initiating a voluntary recall in the United States of a single lot of its Johnson’s Baby Powder in response to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test indicating the presence of sub-trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination (no greater than 0.00002%) in samples from a single bottle purchased from an online retailer," the company said in a Oct. 18 statement.

J&J faces thousands of pending lawsuits from customers who allege that its talc-based baby powders cause cancer. The company denies the product is dangerous.

In June, J&J and Colgate Palmolive were ordered to pay nearly $10 million to a California woman who said baby powder products contributed to her diagnosis of terminal mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. J&J is set to appeal the ruling.

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"We will pursue an appeal because Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer, as supported by decades of independent clinical evidence," J&J said in a statement at the time.

Earlier this month, a Missouri appeals court reversed a $110 million verdict against J&J stemming from a lawsuit from a Virginia woman who said she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using its talc-based products.