By Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group
Once again, experts have found asbestos in cosmetics marketed to kids.
The findings by the Scientific Analytic Institute echo those of a study released last summer, which found asbestos in eight products sold by Justice. Experts say talc used to make the cosmetics can be contaminated with asbestos.
There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, which causes diseases that kill an estimated 15,000 Americans a year. Tiny asbestos fibers in cosmetics can be inhaled by a child, become lodged in their lungs, and eventually cause mesothelioma, an incurable cancer.
There is no law that prohibits the presence of asbestos in cosmetics. Asbestos has been banned by more than 50 nations, but its use remains legal in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration encourages companies to carefully select talc mines to avoid asbestos contamination, but it does not have the power to regulate products that contain talc.
Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., have championed legislation to regulate cosmetics and other personal care products. Their bills would require the FDA to review and restrict, or even ban, the most dangerous ingredients.
But so far, Congress has failed to act on the Personal Care Products Safety Act, even though the bill is broadly supported by cosmetics companies and a recent FDA report found the rise in cosmetics imports poses new risks.
If asbestos in kids’ cosmetics won’t force Congress to act, what will?