Federal Regulators Knew of Asbestos-Contaminated Talc Over 40 Years Ago

Although federal regulators knew that asbestos was contaminating talc powders commonly used in household across the nation, nothing was done to stop it, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Instead, regulators allowed the cosmetic companies to monitor asbestos levels themselves.

EWG reports that a “Fair Warning” memo was sent out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March of 1976 that “charged that cosmetics makers had been lax in monitoring the safety of talc supplies.” As a result,  the FDA was set to regulate asbestos in talc, until the cosmetics industry indicated that testing groups were creating to help test the safety of the products.

Although the FDA backed off, they were still not satisfied by these testing groups. Consequently, they tried several times, once in 1994 and once in 2001, to test talc and other cosmetics themselves, but they ultimately didn’t follow through. However, in 2009, the FDA finally got around to testing numerous products, none of which showed asbestos.

Yet, the FDA felt that the tests were not sensitive enough, and in 2010, ordered a more detailed test from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, but the federal regulators agreed not to regulate the cosmetics regardless of what the result would indicate, and instead leave that task up to the cosmetics manufacturers.

Instead of taking action against the cosmetic companies, the FDA released a statement that the new testing method would “have insufficient sensitivity to detect asbestos and cannot provide the highest possible level of confidence when used by suppliers of talk to certify ‘absence of asbestos.’”

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Follows Similar Standards

A recent discovery of a number of brands of children’s crayons and toys show that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission followed similar steps when they didn’t regulate the products, even though asbestos-containing talc was found in at least four different brands of crayons and two toy kit.

A recent study performed by the EWG Action Fund shows that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has known for 15 years that these crayons contain asbestos, yet, all they can do is warn the public of the hazards and hope that stores take the products off of their shelves.

The EWG Action Fund reached out to the Safety Commission, but so far, there is no indication that any action has been taken to completely ban the products.

Crayon Brands Found to Contain Asbestos:

  • Amscan Crayons: Contains Tremolite, Anthophyllite
  • Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crayons: Contains Tremolite
  • Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Crayons: Contains Tremolite
  • Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons: Contains Tremolite

Toy Kits Found to Contain Asbestos:

  • Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit: White Fingerprint Powder Contains Tremolite
  • EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit: Black Fingerprint Powder Contains Tremolite/ Actinolite, Anthophyllite

Help and Resources for Asbestos Victims

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other illness due to asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma attorney in your area. With over $30 billion currently in asbestos trust funds, now is the right time to take the first step in determining what you may qualify for. For questions or assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-694-4856.

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http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/09/federal-regulators-knew-1976-asbestos-can-contaminate-talc