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Analysis Shows Talc-Based Makeup Contains Asbestos Fibers

Recent analysis by a North Carolina-based research group showed an astounding amount of asbestos fibers in two talc-based eyeshadow products commonly available on websites like Amazon and eBay. The findings represent just the latest revelation in talc-based cosmetics products that have tested positive for the deadly carcinogen, with some of them directly marketed at younger customers.

According to the study performed by Scientific Analytical Institute, and commissioned by the Environmental Working Group in Washington, D.C., 40% of the shades of eyeshadow in Jmkcoz’s 120 Colors Eyeshadow Palette contained asbestos, and 20% of the shades tested in the company’s Beauty Glazed Gorgeous Me Eye Shadow Tray Palette tested positive for asbestos. In response to the findings, both Amazon and eBay have removed the products for sale from their websites, but many other similar makeup kits are available for purchase on both online retailers.

“We urge anyone who has purchased either of these products for themselves, family or friends to take necessary steps to ensure they are no longer being used,” said Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, in a statement. “And we call on these companies and online retailers to immediately pull both of these products from their respective websites.”

The safety of talc-based cosmetics products has been called into question in recent years, as pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc USA faced thousands of lawsuits in state and federal courts alleging the companies negligently produced and marketed asbestos containing talcum powder products. Imerys Talc USA recently agreed to auction off all of its North American assets to set up a trust for asbestos cancer victims as part of its bankruptcy proceedings in federal court.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson itself recently announced that it would cease all North American sales of its talc-based Baby Powder, though the company indicated it would continue to sell the talc version in overseas markets. Johnson & Johnson faces 20,000 talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country, with juries in state court trials handing down over $5 billion in total compensation to dozens of victims and surviving family members who claim the company knew for decades that its talcum powder products were at risk of asbestos contamination but provided no warning to consumers.

While talc does not contain asbestos itself, the two are both naturally occurring minerals that can be found side by side one another in deposits. If companies sourcing and processing talc do not take reasonable precautions to prevent cross contamination, consumers may be at risk of asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma.

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