Report: Nearly 20 Percent Of Talc-Based Cosmetics Contain Asbestos

Mineral Makeup Cosmetics
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It seems like each month a new report reveals just how toxic some of our fave hair and beauty brands are. But, the latest from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) might be one of the most alarming thus far. 

[SEE ALSO: Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $750M In Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit]

The EWG released a new report last week showing that nearly 20 percent of talc-based cosmetics products contain asbestos. Commissioned by the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the tests revealed that nine out of the 52 cosmetic products made with talc tested positive for the known carcinogen.


Asbestos has been found in everything from facial powders to eye shadow. In addition, more than four million asbestos fiber structures were found in every gram of eye shadow in a children’s makeup palette.

Reports of asbestos-contaminated products have been a hot topic as of late, with brands like Johnson & Johnson facing lawsuits for consumers who say the products caused ovarian and other cancers. The government reports that “even small amounts of asbestos, and exposures as short as a few days” can cause cancer. The EWG Action Fund estimated that up to 15,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-triggered diseases.

For more than a year, Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) has pushed for legislation to require companies to put warning labels on cosmetics they could not prove were asbestos-free.

“The results of FDA’s tests should be all the evidence needed for Congress to act quickly to pass legislation mandating all talc-based personal care products are rigorously tested and the cosmetics industry is required to put the public’s safety first,” said EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber.

About The Author

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

isis is a music, hair and communications junkie. she is a Black beauty editor; founder of Sadiaa, the premiere beauty directory for women of color, and editor for HypeHair.com.