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J&J Helped Fund 1971 Study Where Asbestos Was Injected Into Prisoners

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

It has come to light that the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson helped fund a 1960s experiment that injected minority Pennsylvania prisoners with asbestos. The study aimed to determine whether the substance was safe to use in talcum powder. This is yet more evidence that talc contained asbestos, something J&J continues to deny. Our firm has been aggressively filing suits in state and federal litigations for cancer victims.

Documents confirming Johnson & Johnson’s involvement in the study were obtained by Bloomberg. 

The inmates at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were offered between $10 and $300 to take part in the study, although they were not properly informed of the significant risks they were undertaking. 

Asbestos is a heat-resistant mineral material that was commonly used in construction until the 1980s. The material contains microscopic fibers which can fester when breathed in, causing various lethal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. 

Many of the study’s participants faced severe injury from asbestos exposure. One victim was Leodus Jones, who died in 2018 after suffering a lifetime of pain as a result of the experiment. Jones’ daughter described his injuries as so jarring that at age 5, she told her mother “daddy had turned into a monster”. 

All of the prisoners which were injected with chrysotile asbestos developed granulomas, which are sores caused by inflammation. Granulomas often signal that deeper medical issues are present. 

This controversy is added to the long list of problems Johnson & Johnson is facing regarding its baby powder products. The firm is already facing thousands of lawsuits regarding their use of talk, and its potential risks of causing cancer. 

Johnson & Johnson has already paid billions of dollars in settlements due to this, which led the company to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. 

A J&J spokesperson stated “We deeply regret the conditions under which these studies were conducted, and in no way do they reflect the values or practices we employ today. As the world’s largest healthcare company, our transparent, diligent approach to bioethics is at the heart of all we promise our customers and society.”

If you or a loved one has been harmed by Johnson & Johnson or would like to pursue a talcum powder litigation, please contact Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman today. 

Our New York attorneys have over 50 years of experience dealing with dangerous and defective products and will be able to build a strong, compelling case on your behalf to gain you the compensation you deserve.

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