From the blog

New Guidelines Created by the FDA Should Help Keep Asbestos Out of Cosmetic Products

Published: May 19, 2023

Significant changes were made to ensure cosmetic safety. This was done through the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022, which is one of the biggest changes in cosmetic safety by the Food and Drug Administration since the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed in 1938. Americans use anywhere from six to 12 cosmetics on a daily basis. Products including shaving cream, makeup, nail polish, and skincare items can all contain talc, which could possibly be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos can be found in talc deposits so when talc is mined, asbestos can come with it.

The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA) was first enacted in January 2022. There are restrictions for cosmetics manufacturers outlined in the legislation including giving the FDA access to records, event reporting, facility registration, mandatory recalls, product listing, and keeping of safety records. The guidelines allow the FDA to access and copy records relating to a cosmetic product; requires manufacturers, packers, and distributors report serious events connected to the use of cosmetic products to the FDA within 15 days; requires manufacturers register facilities with the FDA (registration has to occur every two years); allows the FDA to recall a cosmetic product if a manufacturer does not voluntarily; forces manufacturers, packers, and distributors to list every marketed cosmetic product with the FDA; and requires manufacturers and distributors keep and maintain records showing that they have proper safety substantiation of their products. The act also ensures manufacturers follow the proper regulations related to manufacturing processes, labeling of fragrance allergens, and testing for asbestos in talcum powder containing products.

There are exemptions related to manufacturing practice guidelines, registration, and product listing requirements for small businesses. The exemptions do not apply to products that are injected, products that come into contact with the mucus membrane of the eye during normal usage, products intended for internal use, and products meant to alter someone’s appearance for more than 24 hours under normal conditions.

Talcum powder, which is easily contaminated with asbestos, is still in multiple cosmetic products. It can be used to dilute pigmented products as a filler and gives makeup a soft texture. It is also found in powder compacts, finishing powders, eye shadows, blushes, foundations, and creams. A study found that 14 percent of makeup products that contain talc also contained asbestos. Multiple products and brands do not use talc including Affordable Mineral Makeup, Ecco Bella, Everyday Minerals, Honest Beauty, Juice Beauty, Pacifica, Shea Moisture, and Smashbox. Talc is also used in balloons, clay, crayons, and children’s makeup.

Talc is dangerous because it can contain asbestos, a mineral that is easily inhaled that causes mesothelioma, lung, and other cancers. Talc dust also potentially causes ovarian cancer in women and lung cancer in people who mine the substance. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson relating to its baby powder containing asbestos. The company recently agreed to settle for $8.9 billion. The talc subsidiary that the company created filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Court rejected this, concluding that the company and its subsidiary are not under financial distress. Johnson & Johnson knew for many years that the products it was selling contained asbestos. Asbestos showed up in lab tests from 1971 to the early 2000s and J&J decided to not report its findings.

“Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022” FDA (April 14, 2023). [Link]
Contact Us
Have you received a diagnosis? *