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‘Asbestos-Free’ A Relative Term? SAI Testing Expert On Cosmetic Talc Challenges

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Transmission electron microscopy is likely the safest bet, among other imaging technologies, for companies looking to verify their cosmetic talc as asbestos-free. However, there’s no regulatory-mandated method for cosmetics purposes, which may explain conflicting results being reported by different labs.  

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State-of-the-art testing approaches increasingly show that asbestos contamination of cosmetic talc is a concern worthy of the renewed attention it is receiving from federal agencies, says Scientific Analytical Institute’s research director Sean Fitzgerald.

50 Years Later, FDA And Cosmetics Industry At Odds Again Over Asbestos

The Personal Care Products Council says talc-testing methods in the cosmetics industry must distinguish between carcinogenic asbestos and harmless non-asbestiform minerals, recalling its position against the FDA’s stab at rulemaking in 1973. However, the FDA is now arguing that elongate mineral particles of respirable dimensions are inherently dangerous, regardless of other considerations.

FDA To Hold Public Meeting In February on Cosmetic Talc-Asbestos Test Methods

Recommendations from an FDA-led interagency work group regarding methods for detecting and measuring asbestos in talc and talc-containing cosmetics will be presented at the agency’s planned public meeting in Silver Spring, MD, on 4 February. The recommendations are summarized in the FDA's meeting notice, which follows contentious cosmetic product recalls based on asbestos findings.

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