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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Efforts to modernize US cosmetics regulations fell short in the 116th Congress as lawmakers swung their focus to COVID-19, but industry expects a resumption of discussions in the next term, even as pandemic relief and recovery remains top priority.
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 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.