J&J and 43 states’ AGs approve $700 million settlement after baby powder found to contain talc

11 June 2024- Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today announced that he and 42 other attorneys general reached a $700 million settlement to resolve allegations related to the marketing of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and body powder products that contained talc.  

Attorney General Brown alleges that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries deceptively promoted talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products and misled consumers in advertisements related to the safety of these products. As part of the settlement, Johnson & Johnson has agreed not to manufacture, sell, distribute, or promote its talc-based baby, body, and cosmetic products in the United States.  

“Many Marylanders who, for decades, trusted that the personal care products they were using were safe and pure, are now suffering horrific consequences. It is inexcusable,” said Attorney General Brown. “We will hold companies who jeopardize public health by promoting and selling products that may contain harmful, cancer-causing substances accountable for their actions.” 

Johnson & Johnson sold Johnson’s Baby Powder for over a hundred years. After a coalition of states began investigating, the company stopped distributing and selling Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States and more recently, ended global sales. The states have alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew that its talc powder products were sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that women who used them in the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer when compared to those women who do not. Numerous lawsuits filed by private plaintiffs over Johnson Baby Powder have also raised allegations that talc causes serious health issues, including mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.  

Under the consent judgment filed today, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries shall not: 

  • Resume the manufacture of baby and body powder products and cosmetic powder products that contain talcum powder, including, but not limited to, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower (“Covered Products”) in the United States, either directly, or indirectly through any third party; 
  • Resume the marketing or promotion of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party; or 
  • Resume the sale or distribution of any Covered Products in the United States either directly, or indirectly through any third party. 

This settlement is pending approval by the court.