Cosmetics manufacturers will soon have to explain to federal regulators what procedures they use to ensure their talc-containing cosmetics are safe and free from cancer-causing asbestos, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a news release.

The agency will also investigate how cosmetics companies source their talc and whether they test the raw talc they use and/or their finished talc products, and whether they have received any reports of adverse reactions to their products.

“We believe this information will help us better identify specific cosmetic products and raw ingredient suppliers that may be more likely to be contaminated and inform steps that FDA may be able to take to better protect consumers,” Gottlieb said. “Our overarching aim is to ensure the safety of cosmetic products and protect consumers.”

Currently, the FDA’s oversight of cosmetics companies is limited. “To significantly shift the safety paradigm of cosmetics in the U.S., we would need to work with stakeholders, including Congress, to modernize the outdated regulatory framework that that FDA has been operating under for more than 80 years when it comes to cosmetics,” Gottlieb said.

The stepped-up oversight for cosmetics come the same day the FDA announced that independent testing on suspect talc-containing cosmetics marketed to tweens found three products from Claire’s and one from Justice tested positive for asbestos. Asbestos is mined from the earth similar to talc, and is linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer.

Justice issued a recall on several of its talc-containing cosmetics. Claire’s refused, prompting the FDA to issue a Safety Alert warning consumers to stop using the Claire’s products due to the risk of asbestos exposure.

Source: FDA News Release

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