No asbestos found in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder bottles sold in Singapore: HSA

Containers of Johnson's baby powder made by Johnson & Johnson sit on a shelf in a California drug store. On Oct 18, 2019, Johnson & Johnson said it would be recalling 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the US. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - No traces of asbestos were detected in Johnson & Johnson talcum powders sold in Singapore, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Tuesday (Oct 29).

On Oct 18, the healthcare giant said it would be recalling 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the US, after a bottle in the batch was found by the US Food and Drug Administration to contain traces of asbestos.

The recall was limited to one batch that was produced and shipped in the United States in 2018. It marked the first time the company has recalled baby powder for possible asbestos contamination and the first time US regulators announced finding asbestos in the product, the US media reported.

On Tuesday, HSA said in response to The Straits Times' queries that the affected batch had not been imported into Singapore and was only sold in the US.

The use of asbestos in cosmetic products like baby powder is prohibited in Singapore under the cosmetics product regulation, HSA said.

Asbestos is linked to health problems such as lung cancer.

HSA said that Johnson & Johnson has also submitted regular test reports which show the absence of asbestos in their products sold in Singapore.

"To date, HSA has not received any local adverse reaction reports associated with the use of talc in cosmetic products, including Johnson & Johnson's baby powders," it added.

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