NGO Spurs Senators To Denounce Use Of Talc In Toys
Research conducted by the NGO Environmental Working Group has led to their call to ban the use of talc in children's toys, a position that has been supported by a number of U.S. senators.
Monday, July 27, 2015 - The main ingredient in talcum powder that has been linked to ovarian cancer in women, the mineral known as talc, has been targeted recently by a non-governmental organization for its presence in children's toys. The NGO known as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted tests on a series of children's toys and discovered that those containing talc tested positive for asbestos. The effort has been pursued by U.S. senators as well in the wake of the results provided by EWG.
The talc that has been linked to asbestos in the children's toys is the same substance that is at the center of hundreds of lawsuits around the country aimed at the manufacturers of talcum powder for research linking the product to the development of ovarian cancer. Attorneys representing plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim that the cancer-causing mineral talc, which is oftentimes mined in the presence of asbestos, significantly increases the risk of contracting ovarian cancer in women who use the product regularly.
The talc research conducted by the EWG discovered that children's products that included talc as an ingredient also had fibers of asbestos in the toys. The specific products named in the testing were crayons and the contents of crime lab kits for children. The NGO has called for the use of talc in all children's toys to be banned. The research notes that talc and asbestos occur naturally in close proximity to each other, and that the inability to effectively separate the two should result in a ban as there is no safe level of asbestos that can harmlessly contribute to a person's health.
Statements given by democratic senators condemned the presence of talc containing asbestos
in children's products, with the latest incident being the third time it has occurred in the past 15 years. The senators are calling for the products to be stripped of talc, as the efforts to regulate asbestos out of the ingredient are proving to be futile. The requests from the senators are not imminently headed towards legal bans however, as their concerns are only being voiced as calls for the manufacturers to voluntarily refrain from using talc in the children's toys.
The FDA called for a similar ban on asbestos in talcum powder in 1973, hoping to stem the cancerous connection the product had with its inclusion of the dangerous mineral. However, the FDA never completely regulated the talcum powder industry, only giving the order to limit the asbestos in the product. As evidenced in the children's toy debate that is currently underway, removing all cancerous elements from talc is proving more difficult than the FDA may have anticipated.
Talcum powder lawsuits have been filed around the country claiming that manufacturers of the product, namely Johnson & Johnson, did not adequately warn consumers of the cancerous risk incurred when using talcum powders. Plaintiffs have claimed that given the decades of talcum powder research that has been conducted leading up the the latest series of lawsuits, those responsible for administering warning labels were well aware of the risks posed by talcum powder and didn't act on making that information available for consumers to protect the marketability of the product.