FDA Final Report: Asbestos Detected In 17% Of Talc-Containing Cosmetics, Including Products Previously Under Suspicion
NGOs including the Environmental Working Group maintain that the FDA’s testing results released on 9 March, showing traces of asbestos in nine out of 52 talc-containing cosmetics, signal a need for congressional action to tighten industry oversight. The FDA says the findings are not necessarily representative of the overall marketplace, with further talc testing planned for 2020.
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Formed by the FDA in fall 2018 and convened in early 2020 for a public meeting, the Interagency Working Group on Asbestos in Consumer Products maintains that electron microscopy should be a first-line method for detecting asbestos in cosmetic talc and talc-containing products, and that labs should report elongate mineral particles beyond those classically understood as asbestos.
No traces of asbestos were found in each of 50 talc-based cosmetic products a contract lab tested for FDA, an improvement over 17% of samples – nine of 52 products – testing positive for the carcinogen in the agency’s previous round.
The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has a wish list for cosmetics reform legislation, but with Congress currently focused elsewhere, the agency is using its existing authority and resources to address cosmetics safety priorities while working to drive voluntary industry support.