When we look back on beauty trends throughout the centuries that were heavily reliant on the use of lead-based products or children’s toys from the early 1900s that had sharp metal edges or small parts that a child could choke on, it seems crazy that anyone would ever be foolish enough to use such products. The thing is, consumers are not often fully informed about the products that they use, and it’s difficult to determine whether or not something is truly safe until it’s proven to be otherwise. Even now, products that have been around for years are being recalled for their potential link to serious health conditions or death. Here’s a list of some semi-recent product recalls that might surprise you.
Johnson and Johnson Recalls
When compiling a list of shocking recalls, it’s nearly impossible not to mention Johnson and Johnson. The company is no stranger to recalls, as they’ve been named in over 100,000 wrongful death and wrongful injury lawsuits. The company’s most recent recall included five different types of aerosol sunscreen, which were all found to contain low levels of the chemical benzene, which is carcinogenic to humans and has been linked to cases of leukemia. Before that, in 2019, Johnson and Johnson was forced to recall 33,000 bottles of talc-based baby powder after the product tested positive for asbestos–a mineral that causes mesothelioma and other types of cancer. Even though the recall was issued in 2019, Johnson and Johnson will not stop selling the product globally until later this year.
Of all of the company’s recalls, however, the most notable is the great Tylenol recall of 1982. The recall came after seven people in the Chicago area died within a week of each other–each victim had taken Tylenol before their death. However, there was nothing wrong with Johnson and Johnson’s Tylenol recipe. The issue was that whoever committed the murders tampered with the bottles in the store, removing the medicine from the capsules and replacing it with cyanide. There were multiple copycat murders following this event, which was deemed as the Chicago Tylenol Murders, including one in Washington State that got its own Forensic Files episode. In the wake of these murders, Johnson and Johnson recalled the product and changed the design of the packaging, giving us the modern tamper-proof bottle that all over-the-counter drugs are required to have to be sold in the United States.
Dangerous Children’s Toys
In the early 2000s, children’s toys were being recalled at an alarming rate, with an average of 145 products being recalled each year. In the past decade or so this number has gone down, with toy recalls averaging about 76 each year.
If you were born in the late 90s or early 2000s, then you likely grew up playing with Littlest Pet Shop figurines, and you were probably very upset when Hasbro changed the design of the pets to no longer include the classic magnet on the bottom of their foot. Suddenly there were no more magical magnetic surprises in the playsets, just a bunch of big-eyed, funky-colored animal figurines.
Magnets were actually a big craze in the world of 2000s toys, and they were incredibly dangerous. Some other magnetic toys that were recalled included Mattel’s Polly Pocket Magnetic Play Sets and the Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets by Mega Brands America. You might think that the danger in small magnets like these would lie in their potential for becoming choking hazards. However, this is only the beginning of the issue. Magnets have the potential to do serious internal damage if ingested. In dozens of cases where children swallowed magnets from these sets, the magnets ripped through their intestines, even resulting in the death of at least one child, which ultimately caused the sets to be discontinued.
If you grew up playing with Littlest Pet Shop figurines or Polly Pocket dolls, then you likely spent your early teen years spraying batiste dry shampoo products in your hair before having mom or dad drive you over to The People’s Choice Family Fun Center in Waukegan to meet up with a group of friends. If this is the case, then you’ll be brokenhearted to hear that your go-to dry shampoo was recalled in 2022 for containing levels of benzene, the same cancer-causing chemical in the recalled Johnson and Johnson sunscreens.
If you or a loved one faces an accident or suffers from a severe health condition, and you believe that it is a result of a company selling a product despite knowing the dangers, you are encouraged to file a lawsuit. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to find out what your first step is in getting a dangerous product pulled from the shelves.