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FDA Tests Find Asbestos in Cosmetic Products with Talc

The FDA reports that after a year-long study asbestos-contaminated talc was found in nine of the 52 cosmetic products tested. The cosmetics with asbestos were recalled at various times throughout the past year when individual results were obtained and the public was notified. 

FDA Cosmetics Recalls & Alerts

The FDA announcement was labeled a Constituent Update and Final Report. It also included products that showed no trace of contamination.

FDA In Brief: FDA Releases Final Report of Talc-containing Cosmetic Products Tested for Asbestos

AMA Analytical Services Inc. in Lanham, Maryland, did all testing for the FDA, using polarized light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, currently the most sensitive testing method.

The cosmetics with asbestos include:

  • Claire’s Compact Powder style #83915-9, Claire’s
  • Claire’s Contour Palette style #40194-3, Claire’s
  • JoJo Siwa Makeup Set, Claire’s
  • Contour Effects Palette 2, City Color
  • Timeless Beauty Palette, City Color
  • Matte Blush (Fuchsia), City Color
  • Shimmer Bronzer (Caramel), City Color
  • Bronzer (Sunset), City Color
  • Johnson’s Baby Powder, Johnson & Johnson
  • Asbestos in Baby Powder

The asbestos found in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder — announced in October 2019 was significant because of its abundant use for many decades. Despite the findings, Johnson & Johnson continues to insist its product is safe and asbestos-free.

What Happens When You Breathe in Asbestos?

Inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers can lead to serious medical issues, including cancers: malignant mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer.  These cancers take many years (often decades) to develop, so, if a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, for example, they should think back to products they used in their earlier years, from childhood on.  Of course, there are many other potential sources of asbestos exposure to consider, including exposures a patient had directly from working around dusty materials that may have included asbestos or through exposure to a spouse’s or parent’s clothing that may have carried asbestos dust home.

More FDA Testing

The FDA will continue to sample products throughout 2020. More than 50 new products are expected to be tested and the results will be released throughout the year. Talc is recognized as a product that can absorb moisture and enhance the feel of products. It is found in hundreds of products. Asbestos is toxic.

Sadly, current laws for cosmetic products and ingredients (other than color additives) do not require FDA approval before coming to market. Companies must do everything they can to ensure the safety of their products. Cosmetic companies can do their own safety testing but they aren’t obligated to share what they learn with the FDA. There is legislation and hearings in Congress on the production of talc-based cosmetics and possibly require warning labels on certain products.

Examining Carcinogens in Talc and the Best Methods for Asbestos Detection

The FDA last month held a day-long public hearing to discuss the various testing methods for asbestos in talc and cosmetic products.

Public Meeting on Testing Methods for Asbestos in Talc and Cosmetic Products Containing Talc

For over 40 years our firm has represented Floridians who were injured by exposure to asbestos. The very first case I worked on was for the widow of an asbestos worker who died of mesothelioma. We are experts when it comes to finding the truth and advocating for our clients who are victims of asbestos. When we hear about reports of contamination we’re especially concerned. Because we continue to believe it is vital to try to help prevent injuries and deaths, we will continue to publish warnings and recall information about the danger of asbestos in products. If you or your loved ones were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma or lung cancer from that exposure, you deserve to have compassionate, capable, and experienced legal representation. We are here to help.


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About The Author

Picture of Wayne Hogan

Wayne Hogan

Wayne Hogan, a Jacksonville native, has been with the firm since 1977. He graduated from Florida State University, where he received both his bachelor’s and J.D. degrees. He specializes in all areas of personal injury law. In addition to participating in many professional associations, he and his wife, Pat, are also actively involved in the community.