The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking new steps to protect consumers from dangerous cosmetics.
“We’ll soon be working with cosmetics manufacturers and requesting information about what procedures they use to ensure their cosmetics are safe and, in particular, about how they ensure that talc used in any cosmetic product is free from asbestos,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a prepared statement.
The agency will investigate how manufacturers source talc and whether they test the raw talc they use and/or their finished products. The agency also aims to know how many cosmetic products contain talc and whether manufacturers have received adverse event reports associated with talc-containing products.
“We believe this information will help us better identify specific cosmetic products and raw ingredient suppliers that may be more likely to be contaminated and inform steps that the FDA may be able to take to better protect consumers,” Gottlieb said.
The FDA has only limited oversight of cosmetics companies, but the agency is asking these companies to take responsible steps to voluntarily register their products and list ingredients, including talc, used in their products. The FDA is also asking that these companies report any adverse events they receive involving their products.
The new steps by the FDA focused on cosmetics comes with an FDA warning to consumers that three talc-containing cosmetics from Claire’s and one from Justice were found to contain asbestos. Justice recalled its products but Claire’s refused. The FDA recommended consumers stop using the Claire’s products of concern.
Concern about asbestos in talc-containing products has been rising in recent years. In July, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $4.69 billion to 22 women who sued the company alleging that its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder contained asbestos and contributed to their ovarian cancer. The company also faces thousands of lawsuits that claim its asbestos-laden talcum powders caused mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
FDA News Release