October 25, 2021
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the results of the agency’s most recent sampling assignment testing talc-containing cosmetic products for the presence of asbestos. Asbestos fibers were not detected in any of the 50 samples tested in 2021. The testing was conducted using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).
As background, in September 2019, AMA Analytical Services, Inc. (AMA) was awarded a contract to test talc-containing cosmetics for the presence of asbestos fibers. AMA was selected because of its expertise and experience in asbestos testing, and because it is accredited for analysis of asbestos in bulk materials through the National Institute of Standards and Technology administered National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NIST-NVLAP).
Products were selected and purchased by the FDA, and then samples of the products were blinded and transferred to AMA. The products were selected based on various factors including, type of talc-containing cosmetic product, price range, popular products on social media and in advertisements, products marketed to children, and, if any, third party reports of potential asbestos contamination. The first sampling assignment was completed in 2019, however due to COVID-19, the sampling assignment planned for 2020 was carried out during 2021.
To continue this ongoing effort of testing talc-containing cosmetic products, the FDA is planning to test 50 additional samples in 2022 and will post a report when available. The previous AMA report from the assignment completed in 2019. If any samples test positive for asbestos, the agency will promptly inform the public of the results and will work closely with the companies involved to help to remove affected products from the market.