Talc Needs to be Tested More Thoroughly to Ensure Consumers’ Health

Talcum Powder | Goldberg, Persky, and White P.C.

Talc Needs to be Tested More Thoroughly to Ensure Consumers’ Health

Talc is sold as a healthy and safe product, but this is not always the case. Talc can sometimes be found alongside asbestos, and when it is mined to be put in many different products, the talc can become contaminated with asbestos fibers. People then use these products and unknowingly expose themselves and possibly other people to asbestos.

Baby powder and other talc-based products need to be tested thoroughly before they arrive on store shelves. Every batch of talc that is mined has a chance of containing asbestos, so companies need to follow strict testing protocols to ensure the safety of all their customers.  The FDA is endorsing new standards for testing of talc-based products. One such standard is that all mineral particles need to be considered as potentially harmful.  They can cause similar illnesses, making them too similar to be distinguished.

The talc industry does not think that it needs to be monitored, but 33,000 bottles of baby powder being recalled because of asbestos contamination shows that the product needs to be tested to ensure safety for all consumers. The FDA has never required that talc product companies test their own products. They have always been able to scrutinize their products in their own way, letting them send out unsafe products very easily.

The FDA might give new guidance on testing methods for talc. This would potentially help protect those who are buying talc-based products including makeup, baby powder, and others. The industry has always been able to police and regulate itself, but this may not be enough with the amount of people suing for their illnesses related to asbestos contaminated talc. In 2018, it was reported that Johnson and Johnson knew that it had asbestos in its baby powder but continued to sell it anyway and did not report it to the FDA.

Since asbestos is a dangerous material and it can be found alongside talc in many instances, the talc industry needs to be smarter and more careful when selling products containing talc. People exposed to it can become very sick and can even die from asbestos caused diseases. Consumers also need to be wary of talc containing products. Just because they are being sold in stores, it does not mean that the products are safe. If consumers are cautious and companies are responsible, people would not have to worry about developing mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos caused disease.

If you were exposed to asbestos and now have mesothelioma or lung cancer, use our contact form or call 412-471-3980 to speak to a member of our staff. We will do our best to help you figure out the best steps moving forward.

Chad Terhune and Lisa Girion, “Government experts urge new talc testing standards amid asbestos worries” Reuters (January 10, 2020). [Link]

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