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MoCRA Cosmetics Law Added FDA to Asbestos Oversight

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Understanding the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA)

The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) tighten and added a new standard to the production and manufacturing of all cosmetic products. This allows the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight to apply new restrictions and guidelines to cosmetic products used by consumers and directly affects products made with asbestos.

These restrictions include having access to records of cosmetic products, such as safety records, and mandatory recall of a product that could cause negative health effects. People using certain cosmetic products, such as talc powder, are susceptible to getting mesothelioma due to the asbestos found in the product. MoCRA also put into effect new industry standards, including reporting serious adverse reactions to products within a certain timeline, facility registration every 2 years for all places involved with manufacturing and packaging, listing the product with the FDA, and requiring a person to ensure records are kept for safe use of the product.

History of MoCRA – FDA Regulations 

The act’s introduction in December 2022 came after people voiced their concerns over how cosmetic products were affecting their health. There hadn’t been another major overhaul on the regulation of cosmetic products since the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act. At the time, companies were selling their products to the public with promises of curing diseases and disorders and subjecting people to horrible side effects, sometimes so far as death. The government knew there had to be a change. The FD&C was signed by President Roosevelt and its purpose was aimed at regulating the cosmetic industry and their products with similar standards of producing and packaging food items. It gave the industry a standard of having to label their products with adequate directions for safe use.

What is the Summary of MoCRA?

MoCRA is the new standard for the cosmetic world. To understand why MoCRA is important, you must understand what these companies need to be compliable with now. If all companies within this industry follow these guidelines, the public will be protected from potential safety and health hazards. Here are a few examples of what companies are required to disclose and have available for their products.

Each company should keep close documentation of any adverse event or serious problems with their products and is now required to file the event with the FDA within 15 days of the first occurrence. This safeguard allows the FDA to step in, when needed, to remove products that could be harmful if used. Talcum powder, and other products with traces of asbestos, have been linked to causing cancer. There is now a mandatory facility and product registration for every business producing cosmetic items. This applies to any company that manufactures, processes, packages or handles cosmetic items. Research and evidence regarding why a product is safe for use will now be required to have available. The cosmetic company must show evidence that their products are safe to use by the end of 2023.

Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association Regulations

In the past, without these regulations, some products were causing irreversible damage to some people’s health. One of the products is talcum powder. The powder, made from the naturally occurring mineral talc, has been used by people for years to help keep skin dry and rash-free by absorbing moisture. People who used the powder were unaware of how it could contain asbestos, which is a known carcinogen causing mesothelioma cancer. In 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association released guidelines announcing all talcum powders should be produced without asbestos. Yet, it was still too late because those who had used the powder for years could already be on the path to cancer.

Asbestos and Talc-Containing Cosmetic Products and Regulations

Studies regarding talcum powder and its connections with cancer vary. This is due to talc and asbestos being naturally-mined minerals and the two can often be found near each other, which can cause cross-contamination. They have discerned is there is a higher chance of receiving mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, or a respiratory disease when using talcum powder. The FDA currently doesn’t have any regulations regarding testing talc powder before it hits the market. The MoCRA act requires them to label all products properly and promise safety for consumer use. This also mandates them to submit if their products have caused harm while being used. The FDA must have scientific evidence that a product is harmful before it can remove a product from the market. They have conducted research on talc in 2022, but haven’t imposed any new restrictions.

It is important to note that there are talcum powders made with and without asbestos. Although there isn’t definitive evidence to support that asbestos-free talc powder is clear from causing cancer, there is evidence that links talcum powders with asbestos to causing cancer. Researchers test if a substance causes cancer through lab studies and studies with people. Lab studies allow researchers to control the environment and who is exposed to what. Studies with humans are very different from lab studies with specialists as they look at the cancer risks in a population. In doing this, researchers must first identify which groups of people they want to study. To ensure researchers get enough information, they will usually use both studies.

Children, adults, barbers, hairdressers, and talc miners who used talc powder frequently may experience a variety of symptoms connected to mesothelioma. Products such as body powder, baby powder, facial talcums, and pharmaceutical talc are various forms of cosmetic products which all may contain asbestos. Inhalation of these powders may cause lung fibrosis or thickening and scarring of lung tissue. This can constrict the lungs from taking in oxygen, making someone feel it’s difficult to breathe. Other symptoms of talcum powder exposure may include:

  • Dry cough
  • Eye irritation
  • Throat irritation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Wheezing
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What Does This Mean for the Asbestos and Cosmetics Regulation?

MoCRA brings a new meaning to cosmetic regulations in 2023. The addition of safeguards, such as mandatory reporting of any serious event or harm caused by a cosmetic product, will help the cosmetic industry from creating more harm. With asbestos bans being applied to products left and right, we may see more restrictions on cosmetics in the future. Facilities that manufacture, process, and package cosmetic products should implement a review of all procedures and review protocols. If they don’t adhere to new rules, they may be subject to getting their products recalled or a civil fine.

Consumers should be critical when deciding what cosmetic products they want to use in their daily routines. They should read labels to ensure their products have quality ingredients that aren’t harmful. There may be complications when trying to regulate MoCRA as the act has certain exemptions for cosmetic companies. Exemptions apply to some small businesses or facilities which produce cosmetic products that are:

  • Injected
  • Intended for internal use
  • Coming into contact with the mucus membrane of the eye
  • Intended for altering appearance for more than 24 hours, where removal by the customer isn’t allowed

Research into talcum powder and its effects on people’s health may continue if those affected by companies who produced talcum powder with asbestos see their health decline. If you or someone you know used talcum powders regularly and have since had issues with your health, you should consider filing a lawsuit for your diagnosis of mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other diseases. People have had success in their cases against talcum powder manufacturing companies, and you should explore your legal options.

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 05:45 pm

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