Talc-based beauty products have been found to be contaminated with asbestos according to some recent news headlines. How can this be?
For years, cosmetics and personal care products have included a mineral ingredient called talc in their manufacturing process. Talc’s original intention was to improve the texture and feel of products, absorb moisture, or simply be a filler ingredient. However, due to the mining process of the mineral, talc has been found to be contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen. There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.
There are Many Talc-based Beauty Products with Asbestos Contamination
Within the last three years, nearly 2,000 personal care products were identified as containing talc. The products range from beauty items, such as eye shadow and foundation, to baby powders. Since 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CFTA) have developed talc purity tests to detect contamination. However, the FDA does not currently require mandatory testing of talc supplies.
According to this November 2020 article, “Asbestos Contamination in Talc-Based Cosmetics: An Invisible Cancer Risk“, written for Environmental Health Insights, the current voluntary talc-testing procedures leave a lot to be desired:
Tremolite asbestos was detected in 3 of 21 products tested—2 eye shadow palettes, and 1 toy make-up kit. Additionally, actinolite asbestos was also detected in one of the eye shadow palettes. All 3 products were purchased from a large-scale online retailer. In the toy make-up kit, 1 eye-shadow was positive out of 3 shades tested. In the 2 palettes, 20% and 40% of the eye-shadow colors tested contained asbestos…
14% of products tested positive for asbestos. Similarly, in an FDA investigation in 2019, 9 talc-containing asbestos products, out of 52 tested, were found to be contaminated with asbestos as identified by polarized light microscopy (PLM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analytical methods.
Asbestos exposure is linked to several diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuits Involving Talc-based Beauty Products
Mesothelioma is caused by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which then become embedded in the lining of either the lungs, abdomen, or heart. This causes inflammation, and eventually, the formation of malignant tumors in the affected areas.
Asbestos fibers found in talc-based beauty products can cause mesothelioma, and there have been lawsuits filed for women who have developed this fatal asbestos cancer.
There are several different types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural Mesothelioma (of the lungs)
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma (of the abdomen)
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (of the heart)
While there are factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing mesothelioma, only asbestos has been scientifically proven to cause this incurable cancer.
As always, we will continue to monitor the worldwide issues surrounding asbestos litigation involving talc-based beauty products and mesothelioma. We will provide you with any new or relevant information.
We encourage you to visit our Asbestos – Contaminated Talc and Mesothelioma Cancer Overview page on our website for more information. Please submit a free case evaluation if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Written by: Lauren Schwab, Legal Assistant
Law Offices of Thomas J. Lamb, P.A.