Group calls on FG to remove talc powder from Nigerian market

Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu

A Non-Governmental Organization, Foundation of the Conservation of the Earth FOCONE has called for the withdrawal of Talc based powder and cosmetics from the Nigerian market.

A Consultant to FOCONE Kingsley Ozegbe during a press briefing in Port Harcourt said talc powder contains asbestos that causes cancer and other dangerous ailments to the body.

Kingsley Ozegbe said manufacturers of these products have since discontinued the sale of the goods in the US and Canada and wondered why these products are still on sale in Nigeria.

He said that thousands of women who used the products in the US and Canada have developed ovarian cancer.

The Consultant said that the World Health Organization WHO has declared that there is no safe level of asbestos and advised Nigerians to think twice to desist from using the products.

”We wish to inform the public that some talc powder and cosmetics on sale in Nigeria contains asbestos. The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the United States Geological Survey at different times held that asbestos is found close to talc deposits underground and sometimes contaminate talc when it is mined. According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, talc that contains asbestos is classified as ”carcinogenic to human”. WHO said there is no safe level of asbestos”.

”The above information spurred series of serious public pressure for the withdrawal of talc products from the public in US and Canada. On 19 May 2020, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced that it will discontinue the sale of its talc powder in the US and Canada after thousands of women who used the product developed ovarian cancer and filed lawsuits against the company. Now J&J has replaced its talc products with cornstarch for US and Canada products but continued the sale of talc baby powder in Nigeria and other countries” he said.

The Foundation of the Conservation of the Earth FOCONE also called on NAFDAC and other federal government agencies to step up awareness about the dangers of talc-based powder and cosmetics.

A Consultant to FOCONE Kingsley Ozegbe also said advised Nigerians to desist from using talc-based products.

”We call on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC and Federal Competitive and Consumer Protection Commission to robustly raise awareness about these developments to safeguard all citizens in Nigeria from harm. The public should note that other cosmetics like pressed powder, blush, and eye shadow also contains talc. Consumers are advised to check products before using to avoid harm”.

”Cosmetic talc use can cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor that is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers and forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Symptoms can include shortness of breath and chest pain. The life expectancy for most mesothelioma patients is approximately 12 months after diagnosis” he said.