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  1. FDA In Brief

FDA In Brief: FDA Releases Final Report of Talc-containing Cosmetic Products Tested for Asbestos

March 9, 2020

Media Inquiries

  Monique Richards
  240-402-3014

The following quote is attributed to Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition:

“The FDA is committed to keeping consumers safe from potentially contaminated cosmetic products. As part of this effort, in September 2018, the agency awarded AMA Analytical Services, Inc. (AMA) a one-year contract to test certain talc-containing cosmetic products for the presence of asbestos. We have taken and will continue to take swift action when we determine a cosmetic product is not safe.

“There is general agreement among U.S. federal agencies and the World Health Organization that there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure. Earlier this month during a public meeting, the FDA gathered input from federal partners, industry experts and the public to support the development of standardized testing, methodologies, terminology and criteria that can be applied to characterize and measure asbestos and other potentially harmful elongate mineral particles that may be present as contaminants in talc-containing products or products that use talc as an ingredient. Our work in this area is ongoing and we’ll continue to communicate with the public as we have updates to share.”

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued the AMA Analytical Services, Inc. final report in six parts from the agency’s year-long sampling assignment to test talc-containing cosmetic products for the presence of asbestos.
  • The full results showed 43 samples were negative and 9 were positive for asbestos.
  • Last year, the FDA immediately notified the public about the positive results and worked closely with the affected companies on their subsequent recalls. This final report lists both the positive and negative results of the talc-containing cosmetic products tested by AMA in 2019.
  • The FDA will conduct another talc sampling assignment throughout 2020, with 50 additional samples selected for blinded testing by AMA and will communicate any positive results if found. The final results are expected to be released in early 2021.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.