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Proposed legislation aims to protect children from asbestos

The recent makeup recalls by several tween retailers has sparked concern over children's safety. A U.S. Representative recently introduced a bill that aims to protect children from asbestos-containing products. The bill is called, "Children's Product Warning Label Act of 2018". It would require manufacturers who market cosmetics to children to either put a warning label on their products or prove that their products do not contain asbestos ingredients. The representative stated that children should not be exposed to asbestos when using everyday products such as makeup and that parents should feel confident that the cosmetics they purchase for their children are safe.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages companies to test their cosmetics for asbestos, but there is currently no federal law requiring them to do so. Also, less exact testing procedures such as polarized light microscopy and X-ray diffraction are adequate according to the FDA protocol, despite there being a more precise test - transmission electron microscopy (TEM) - available. The proposed legislation would require the use of TEM testing on all cosmetic products.

Talc, a common mineral used in makeup, is no longer mined in areas such as New York, Vermont or Southern California, where trace amounts of asbestos has been found mixed in with the talc. The new bill would require cosmetics manufacturers to attest to the Department of Health and Human Services that the talc used in their products came from an asbestos-free mine.

The representative stated that Congress should pass comprehensive legislation aimed at keeping customers safe from asbestos product exposure. This legislation would deter companies from selling asbestos-containing products by creating a user-fee program and giving the FDA authority to review products' most dangerous ingredients. Barring that approach, she suggests passing the new bill so that customers will be informed about the products they purchase.

Source: Asbestos.com, New Bill Aims to Keep Children's Makeup Asbestos-Free, Tim Povtak, February 9, 2018

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