Asbestos in Makeup

Given the dangers of asbestos exposure, it may seem that asbestos is no longer used. However, in 2017, it was found in several children’s makeup products. These were recalled, however, consumers remain concerned.

Why in Makeup?

Wondering how this continues to happen is a reasonable thought. First, this can happen as a result of poor regulations. Cosmetic-grade talc is a mineral which often forms next to asbestos fibers which can lead to mesothelioma.

Talc is added to makeup to provide it with a softer and silkier texture or as a filler. It has been found in:

  • Eye shadows
  • Blushes
  • Creams
  • Foundations
  • Finishing powders

Instances of contamination have been found even in talc that has been certified as free of asbestos. Often, manufacturers do not test for its presence, which leads to widespread use before noticing it. This puts consumers are unnecessary risk.

The Government Fails to Regulate It

The FDA has never regulated cosmetic-grade talc. In fact, based on the Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, they’re not required to review these products and the ingredients, with the only exception to this rule being color additives. The FDA considers it unacceptable for these products to have asbestos-related minerals in the talc, but there are no laws or regulations that prohibit its use. When the FDA asked nine different suppliers for samples, it was found that only one of the four was in compliance.

Some lawmakers have proposed putting a warning sign on children’s products which have been found to be contaminated previously. While lawmakers have introduced this bill which would force manufacturers to examine their products more closely, it never gained traction. Unfortunately, looking at the ingredient list and avoiding those using talc is the best way to avoid this situation entirely.