Talc and MoCRA

Talc, and the potential of its being contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, has been an ongoing issue for the last several years. Right now there are over 59,000 lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson about asbestos in talc causing cancer. There are tens of billions of dollars on the line.

With all the attention on talc (and especially talc in cosmetics) it’s not surprising that one of the provisions of the Modernization of Cosmetic Regulations Act (“MoCRA”) addressed talc. MoCRA includes a requirement for the FDA to create regulations to “establish and require standardized testing methods for detecting and identifying asbestos in talc-containing products.” The regulations were supposed to have been proposed by 29 December 2023. That didn’t happen.

The FDA’s list of upcoming regulations from January 2024 shows a projected publication date of December 1, 2023 for the talc regulations (which was not met). There are a couple of other items on the list that have legal deadlines from laws passed (like MoCRA). One has a deadline of 2007, and the other from 2015—both now “projected” for 2024.

Current Safety

However, the FDA has continued to monitor and test talc-containing products.

In a 2019 survey of cosmetic products, 8 of 51 products (about 15%) tested positive for asbestos. All of the companies recalled the products that tested positive.

In the 2021 survey, 50 products were tested; none were found positive for asbestos fibers. In subsequest annual tests in 2022 (50 products) and 2023 (39 products), no asbestos was found. So it appears cosmetic companies (and suppliers) are self-regulating to ensure the talc being used in cosmetics is asbestos-free.


If you want to avoid talc in your products altogether, possible alternates to talc include:

  • Kaolin
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Rice starch
  • Silk powder
  • Tapioca starch
  • Cornstarch
Complying with MoCRA by Marie Gale

To find out how MoCRA applies to you, what you need to do, and when you need to do it by, get my book from Amazon and use it.

Up to date as of May 2024.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *