On January 9, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it will host an all-day public forum to discuss testing methods for asbestos in talc and cosmetic products containing talc on February 4, 2020.
According to the FDA, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss testing methods, terminology, and criteria that can be used to characterize and measure asbestos, as well as what the FDA preliminarily states may be “other potentially harmful elongate mineral particles (EMPs)” that may contaminate talc and cosmetics products that contain talc.
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In recent months, reports of asbestos-contaminated cosmetics have illustrated the enduring challenges of manufacturing and marketing cosmetics as safe for consumers, particularly teens, children and expectant mothers. This is especially true where still-developing science, emotion and rapidly disseminated information (and misinformation) all play critical roles in shaping public perception, even influencing jury outcomes.
This article explores the potential legal challenges for supply chain participants arising from contaminated cosmetics, as well as significant proposals to change the way the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetic safety.
The Relationship Between Talc and Asbestos
Talc, also known as talcum or magnesium silicate, is a naturally occurring silicate mineral mined from underground deposits. Because talc is the softest mineral known to man, it has been used in cosmetics manufacturing for centuries.
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