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Talc in makeup: What should women know?

As we have discussed in recent blog posts, the FDA has found talc contaminated with asbestos in a variety of makeup products. Contaminated talc places many women at risk of mesothelioma since there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos.

We recently discussed that the FDA is calling for higher standards to test cosmetic products to increase safety. But there are things you should know to help improve your own safety.

1. Regulations of cosmetics are not strict

The FDA does not have to review or approve cosmetics before they appear on shelves in Tennessee and across the nation. That is because federal law does not require the products or ingredients in cosmetics to receive FDA approval.

Of course, there are tactics for testing these products to make sure they are safe. However, this low level of regulation means you face a higher risk when purchasing and using these products.

2. More products contain talc than you think

With such low regulation, many people might believe that few cosmetic products contain talc. Unfortunately, that is not true. Nearly every cosmetic product contains talc, including:

  • Concealers and foundations;
  • Eye shadow, mascara and eyeliner;
  • Blush and lipstick;
  • Face masks and facial cream; and
  • Lotions.

The amount of talc in each product varies, but the sheer number of products containing this potentially dangerous substance is alarming.

3. Check the ingredients in your makeup before you buy

Often, the adage "knowledge is power" is true. Knowing about the risk talc poses, and which products contain talc is critical. The next step is using that knowledge to make informed decisions about the cosmetics you purchase and use.

So, what should you do when choosing your cosmetics?

  • Carefully check the ingredients of the product. Look specifically for talc, talcum powder, cosmetic talc or even magnesium silicate and, if possible, avoid those products;
  • Disregard product marketing. Stick to reading the ingredients and do not let marketing claims influence how you buy cosmetics;
  • Research these ingredients to understand how they work and what your products contain.

Many people use cosmetic products every day. That is why it is important to take these extra steps to protect yourself.

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