Even after years of research showing that exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, there are still many ways to encounter the dangerous substance. Although some products contain asbestos by design (a practice that is questionable to say the least), an equal but hidden danger is products that were never supposed to contain asbestos in the first place.
For many Americans, cosmetic products like compact powder and eye shadow are an essential part of getting ready. Whether you only use them for special events or you use them daily, you count on the cosmetics you buy to be safe.
Here's what you should know about cosmetics contaminated with asbestos.
What products contain asbestos?
Last year there was a story about asbestos in crayons, there has been ongoing litigation with Johnson & Johnson using asbestos-contaminated talc and now, cosmetic products at Claire's have been found to have traces of asbestos.
Since no amount of asbestos exposure is "safe," products that test positive for asbestos are dangerous. Any product that contains talc (like makeup and baby powder) is possibly at risk for containing asbestos.
Talc also goes by other names. Watch for products that contain ingredients, such as:
- Magnesium silicate
- Talcum powder
- Cosmetic talc
If you use products that contain talc, make sure the company does thorough testing to watch for asbestos contamination.
Why is asbestos still an issue?
The healthcare community agrees that asbestos is dangerous and can lead to mesothelioma. Still, there have been countless times, even recently, of stories about everyday products containing the hazardous substance, either unintentionally or by willful ignorance.
The primary substance to blame is talc. Many products contain talc as a filler, a binding agent or to create a particular texture. In makeup, talc dilutes some of the stronger pigments and gives powders a silky texture.
While talc is harmless, there can be veins of asbestos that lead to cross-contamination in the mining process. When companies do not test talc for asbestos, the risk of contamination in products that you may use every day increases.