Asbestos in J&J powder: Now Bangladesh fails to test baby powder
Abrar Hussain of DOT
Bangladesh laboratories have reportedly failed to test Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder for alleged cancer-causing asbestos.
Right now, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is considering whether sending the samples to Singapore for testing, or to wait the report of the tests India is conducting. Reazul Haque, an assistant director at BSTI Certification Marks Inspectorate, said they have sent the samples of the powder to the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, ICDDR,B, and some other laboratories, citing that BSTI does not possess the required facilities to conduct the tests.
ICDDR,B had initially stated that it did not have the capability to conduct the tests while the BCSIR recently said it was not possible for it to test the presence of cancer-causing asbestos in the powder.
Asked whether the move to test the powder will stop now, the BSTI official said they would have to go through a long procedure to send the samples to Singapore or any other country for the tests.
“It’s a time-consuming process. We also want to see first what results the laboratories in India give in their report,” he added.
Meanwhile, SM Ishaq Ali, a director at BSTI, revealed that Bangladesh will not ban Baby Powder sales until the results of the sample tests are established.
One of the most recognized foreign brands, Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder came under the microscope after Reuters published a report claiming that the company knew the presence of the mineral in its product for decades.
India’s drugs regulator has already ordered J&J to stop manufacturing Baby Powder using raw materials in two of its Indian factories until test results prove they are free of asbestos. Recently, Sri Lanka has also taken initiative by banning imports of the product following their own asbestos tests.
In Bangladesh, MF Consumers is the importer of the Baby Powder and other famous products of Johnson and Johnson. The Bangladeshi firm imports the powder from the Johnson and Johnson plants in India, reported BDNews.