Some baby powder products recalled in SA as asbestos is detected

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Tiger Brands has recalled some Purity and Elizabeth Anne's baby powder products.

"Trace levels of asbestos were detected in test samples of the talc raw material used in these products," the company said in a statement.

Tiger Brands asked that these products must be returned to stores or pharmacies for a cash or coupon refund, from Thursday 8 September:

  • Purity Essentials Baby Powder and Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder, 400g. Barcode: 6009523601828
  • Purity Essentials Baby Powder / Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder, 200g. Barcode: 6009523601866 
  • Purity and Elizabeth Anne’s Fresh Baby Powder, 400g. Barcode: 6009523604515
  • Purity Essentials Baby Powder / Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder, 100g. Barcode: 6009523601859

"The affected batch of raw materials does not meet Tiger Brands' strict quality and safety standards," the company said. The asbestos was detected in test samples from a batch of pharmaceutical-grade talc powder used as raw material.

The company launched the product recall after consultation with the National Consumer Commission.

The financial impact of this recall is not material to the group’s results, JSE-listed Tiger Brands said. But its share price dropped by almost 8% on Wednesday morning.

Tiger Brands is working with retailers and wholesalers to remove the affected products from store shelves.

The affected baby powder brands. Source: Tiger Brands

The recall does not affect Purity Essentials Baby Cornstarch Powder or any other baby care products under the Purity brand.

Last month, US multinational Johnson & Johnson announced that it would stop selling and making talc-based baby powder around the world.

The company stopped sales in the US and Canada two years ago, after the US authorities found trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder.

This triggered tens of thousands of lawsuits from women who alleged that the use of the powder caused their ovarian cancer.

According to its website, Tiger Brands produces all its baby products in two factories located in Ndabeni in Western Cape and Isando in Gauteng.

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