It Is Time To Test Every Cosmetic Product For Asbestos
Enough independent testing has found asbestos in talc that Congress should force the FDA to take a more active role in regulating the cosmetics industry
Friday, December 18, 2020 - Talc is the world's smoothest mineral. It has been used as the main ingredient in baby and beauty care products for nearly a century. Today, after numerous lawsuits and independent scientific testing, it can be said that consumers should stop using products that contain talc. There is overwhelming evidence produced by scientific tests that talc, including that which was used to make Johnson's Baby Powder, has been contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. Many products like talcum powder and some cosmetic and spray-on deodorant products disperse talc into the air in a breathable cloud of dust. A recent study found asbestos in about 15% of the cosmetic products they tested. That number might as well have been 100% because there is no way to test every product individually, nor a way to test all the talc used by a company. If one sample tests positive for talc, they all test positive. You are playing Russian roulette when you use a talc-based cosmetic since the World Health Organization (WHO) scientists determined that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Breathing as little as one particle of asbestos can cause mesothelioma up to 20 years later. Talcum powder cancer warning did not come from Johnson and Johnson which to date denies the facts about asbestos in their baby powder and a warning label on their products should have been in place from the very beginning of their talcum powder production.
In May of 2020, Johnson & Johnson discontinued sales of Johnson's Baby Powder in North America. The company claimed their action was in response to decreasing consumer demand for the iconic brand of talcum powder. Analysts suspect that if Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily willing to forgo the billions in profits that selling Johnson's Baby Powder earns them that there may be a much larger problem beneath the surface. In light of these reasons and many others that link talc to asbestos, many consumer health activists are calling for Congress to force the FDA to use more strict testing methods and regulate cosmetic, health, baby, and beauty care products. In early 2020, meetings were held at the FDA that brought together representatives from several government agencies to discuss forcing standardized talc asbestos testing on cosmetic products. According to Asbestos.com, "A team of experts from eight different federal agencies has presented the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with preliminary recommendations to standardize the testing of talc for the presence of asbestos and other potentially harmful mineral products. The recommendations, some of which reject long-held talc industry positions, are designed to end the discrepancies in analysis of whether talc products are contaminated with cancer-causing substances."
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently wrote that it would support legislation that gave the Food and Drug Administration greater oversight to enforce stricter and standardized asbestos testing on cosmetic products to weed out those that contained asbestos. Cosmetic companies are resisting strict testing, and instead, seeing the writing on the wall, quietly modifying their products. Health, baby, and beauty care products that once contained asbestos are being marketed today as asbestos-free to pick up consumers that will no longer use talc.