Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetics, from baby powder to eyeshadows. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral, mined from the earth, composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Talc has many uses in cosmetics and personal care products including as an absorbent, anti-caking agent and to improve the feel of the product. Cosmetic-grade talc is produced so that it conforms to industry specifications. By law, cosmetic-grade talcum powders are required to be asbestos-free. This is confirmed by X-ray diffraction, and optical and electron microscopy. In addition, the suppliers of cosmetic-grade talc have established purity specifications to ensure that it does not contain residue levels of asbestos. The supplier of the talc should have full traceability of where the talc has come from and a certificate to say the talc is sterilised. In the EU, there is a system called RAPEX which stands for Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Consumer Products. They publish weekly overviews of the alerts on products reported by the national authorities. Recently, there has been some talc based products that have been withdrawn from the market due to Microbiological Risk. There has also been a case in the USA where a blue chip company lost a court case brought against them, resulting in them paying out a fine of 72 million dollars for damages. The issue with powders of any kind is that they may be harbouring spores. These can only be detected by carrying out microbiological analysis. Don't be the next RAPEX case test your products.
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