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FDA pushes for more testing amid asbestos exposure concern

Current asbestos testing standards for industries that use talc are fairly loose. As recent reports have shown that many products contain this toxic substance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is pushing for new testing standards. If implemented, it could possibly lower the risk of asbestos exposure for people in South Carolina and across the country.

The FDA allowed the cosmetics talc industry to basically self-police when it comes to asbestos and testing. The last time the FDA held a hearing focusing on asbestos and testing methods in cosmetics was in 1971, meaning the industry has been handling these issues on its own for several decades. The FDA did not test any cosmetic products from then until 2018, when it discovered that many popular cosmetic products were contaminated with asbestos.

In addition to stronger standards for testing talc, the FDA wants to take things one step further. Minerals that resemble asbestos are also frequently found in talc, but there are currently no testing requirements for those minerals. Experts agree that look-alike minerals quite often cause very similar health problems which are nearly indistinguishable from those related to asbestos.

Both the FDA and the World Health Organization agree that there is no safe level for asbestos exposure. People can easily inhale tiny particles that then make their way to the lungs. Mesothelioma and ovarian cancer have both been linked to asbestos, and thousands of people — some in South Carolina — have already filed lawsuits against companies that sold tainted products. Many of these individuals are seeking compensation for things like medical care, loss of income and even physical and emotional trauma.

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