The Cosmetic Industry's Half-Century of Self-Regulation Could Be Ending Soon
It is hard to believe that the cosmetics industry was unaware that their talc supply was not contaminated with asbestos
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - The biggest question surrounding the current asbestos/talc scandal is not whether or not talc, the main ingredient in Johnson's Baby Powder and hundreds of brands of women's cosmetic products, is contaminated with cancer-causing substance but instead, how the cosmetics industry was allowed to self-regulate and cover up this fact for over 50 years. Investigators at Reuters.com reported that "Since at least the 1970s, the regulatory agency (The FDA) downplayed health concerns about talc in powders and cosmetics, deferring again and again to manufacturers. Only now, as pressure mounts from lawsuits and a Reuters investigation, is the agency stepping up testing." Talcum powder cancer attorneys have vast experience and a winning track record handling big corporations pharmaceutical medical litigations.
In response to pressure, the FDA recently tested bottles of Johnson's Baby Powder and found that some contained asbestos. Johnson & Johnson recalled the small lot of 33.000 bottles because they were exercising "an abundance of caution" and did not admit that their product was contaminated. Instead, the company tested several bottles from the same lot the company recalled and declared that they did not find asbestos, yet added, in what I find to be incredulous, that the asbestos they found must have come from the old air conditioner in the room.
Not only has the cosmetics industry been granted status as "self-policing" when it comes to asbestos testing, but also the industry has also seeded the FDA's cosmetics division tasked with providing talc safety oversight and guidance, with former cosmetics industry employees, now pensioners who have failed to force stricter asbestos testing methods on cosmetic companies. For more than half a century Johnson & Johnson, the largest talcum powder manufacturer has used a testing method that guaranteed negative asbestos test results during a time when independent asbestos testing microscope researchers have found asbestos in almost 20% of the samples of talc-based powders and cosmetics they analyze. Multi-billion dollar jury awards for mesothelioma and ovarian cancer plaintiffs that allege using Johnson's Baby Powder regularly for their entire life have now forced the FDA to test cosmetics for asbestos and into recommending the industry adopt the same stricter testing measures.
It is doubtful that Johnson & Johnson's asbestos denials will survive the mountain of evidence to the contrary that is cascading down upon them. For one, talc is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined in open-pit mines adjacent to asbestos mines throughout the world by blasting the mineral into airborne dust and then scooping up what settles back to earth. Seeding the air with asbestos has not only caused elevated mesothelioma rates among asbestos miners but also entire surrounding neighborhoods have shown the same high rates of cancer. Thinking that asbestos settles everywhere except on the local talc mine is preposterous and reminds us that the World Health Organization has stated that there is no safe amount of asbestos that can be inhaled and also there is no way to remove asbestos from talc to purify it.