EWG Study Suggests More Than One In 10 Talc-Based Cosmetics Contain Asbestos
The Environmental Working Group and Scientific Analytical Institute say inadequate testing of talc-containing personal-care products is to blame for findings of asbestos in cosmetics, including three of 21 powder-based cosmetics SAI analyzed at EWG’s request. They continue to push for updated testing standards that include electron microscopy as a core component.
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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.
Lab testing expert Sean Fitzgerald says levels of asbestos he has detected in talc-containing cosmetics likely would expose consumers to the well-known carcinogen at levels above California’s Prop 65 safe harbor. There are questions as to Prop 65’s applicability as currently written, but there is definite interest among California attorneys and trial lawyers, he says.
Fitzgerald has parted ways with Greensboro, NC-based Scientific Analytical Institute, but his investigations continue into asbestos contamination risks, including in talc-containing cosmetics, at his own lab and consultancy in Durham, NC, Fitzgerald Analytical Consulting & Testing Services, PLLC.