Johnson & Johnson. (Photo: Twitter/@JNJNews). Image Source: IANS News

Washington, Oct 19 : At least 33,000 bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby (J&J) powder have been recalled by the company in the US after health regulators found asbestos traces in a bottle that was purchased online, reports said.

Government officials said customers should stop using powder from the affected batch "immediately", the BBC reported.

Health care giant J&J said it had launched a review and prior tests have not found asbestos.

The firm is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who claim its talc products caused cancer.

J&J has strongly denied those accusations.

The firm said it had initiated the voluntary recall of one lot of baby powder, produced and shipped in the US in 2018, out of "an abundance of caution".

It said it was working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the integrity of the test and the validity of the results finding asbestos, including whether the product was counterfeit and if the bottle's seal had been broken, according to the BBC report published on Friday.

"Years of testing, including the FDA's own testing on prior occasions - and as recently as last month - found no asbestos," it said.

The FDA has been testing dozens of products for asbestos, a known carcinogen amid rising concerns among the public. It said there was no indication that the product was counterfeit or had been tainted during testing.

The FDA "stands by the quality of its testing and results", it said.

It is not aware of any adverse events relating to exposure to the lot of affected products, it added.

It urged customers with products from lot #22318RB to contact Johnson & Johnson for a refund.

Shares of J&J fell 6 per cent on Friday after the development, making it the second worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the CNN reported.

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