One of the world’s most recognized household products (and smells) is being discontinued in North America. Dating back to 1893, Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder was originally used to prevent diaper rash in infants, but in more modern times has been adopted by both men and women alike as a powder to prevent friction and odors in the genital region.
While the product has been around for decades, it wasn’t until the ’80s when the link between talc, an ingredient in talcum powder, and ovarian cancer was brought to light. The issue is not the talc itself, but rather the process in mining talc as it can become contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos during the process. Although Johnson & Johnson stays firm on the notion that the scientific evidence is inconclusive, the billions of dollars and near-20,000 lawsuits have shaken investors’ confidence.
To ease growing scrutinization, Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder product will be discontinued in North America; the cornstarch version will still be available.
In other news, Nordstrom is closing Jeffrey boutiques amid slowing luxury sales.