J&J’s Baby Powder Announcement Renews NGO Calls For Industry, FDA To End Use Of Talc In Cosmetics
The Environmental Working Group and US PIRG suggest that beauty and personal-care firms should avoid using talc in loose powders, if not all cosmetic products, and that the US FDA should consider banning the ingredient due to the potential for asbestos contamination, among other concerns.
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J&J’s targeted marketing of talcum powder products to women of color verges on “corporate brutality,” Black Women for Wellness and more than 200 allied organizations suggest in recent letters to J&J leadership. The firm affirmed its commitment to equality and racial justice in June, but BWW wants J&J to “walk the talk.”
The Executive Summary of an interagency working group's preliminary recommendations on testing methods for asbestos in talc and talc-containing consumer products, released by the FDA in early 2020, does not constitute a formal position taken by the FDA, it says, noting that concerns have arisen recently about misunderstanding among "external parties."
The FDA must report to the House Appropriations Committee on any work toward defining “natural” cosmetics and on the health effects of talc, asbestos and lead in cosmetic products. The committee’s 2021 FDA spending bill report also cites concerns about skin-lightening products containing “dangerous levels of mercury and hydroquinone.”