Talc-Based Dietary Supplements and Asbestos
It is not uncommon for mesothelioma patients to use natural remedies to boost their health during and after cancer treatment. However, although some dietary supplements have been well-researched and proven to be effective, most supplements have no such evidence to support their safety or efficacy. Moreover, dietary supplements are often loosely regulated compared to the stricter regulations placed on medications and medical devices. This means, as a consumer, you should be wary when choosing to use dietary supplements as part of your daily regimen. You might think you are doing something beneficial for your health, but that might not be the case.
Talc in Dietary Supplements
Talc is “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that experts consider it safe to add to food. However, the GRAS designation means a substance does not need to meet Federal Food Drug, and Cosmetic Act food additive tolerance requirements. This also means that talc does not have to undergo any testing for purity or contamination.
This is concerning since certain types of asbestos occur in the natural environment alongside talc and, when talc is mined for commercial use, it can easily become contaminated with asbestos. There are still no federal regulations in place to prohibit the presence of asbestos in talc products. Despite the fact that the FDA has banned asbestos-contaminated products for use in any product, it can only act if a product is scientifically proven to cause harm.
Dietary supplements fall under the Dietary Supplements and Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 and, therefore, are not regulated by the FDA. The FDA will only consider evaluating the safety of a supplement after reports of adverse effects are logged through the official FDA Adverse Event Reporting System.
Third-Party Supplement Testing Organizations
Companies can, if they wish, choose to voluntarily have independent testing done for purity, contamination, and active ingredients in exchange for paying a fee. One of the oldest third-party certification programs that conducts these tests is known as ConsumerLab.com, though they do not specifically test for asbestos in supplements. However, they have raised the issue on a section of their website.
Ultimately, given that the FDA does not regulate these products, third-party groups play a big part in helping consumers find safer supplements.
How You Can Select Safer Supplements
It is impossible to make any guarantees, but there are some ways for consumers to select safer high-quality supplements that are free of dangerous contaminants. This includes:
- Select products that have a USP certification for most of its ingredients
- Ask a pharmacist, dietitian, or doctor for a recommended brand
- Avoid small, boutique brands
- Stick to well-recognized brands that have more stringent manufacturing processes
Asbestos Exposure Attorneys
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma or other harmful condition as a result, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation. At Shrader & Associates L.L.P., our team of asbestos attorneys is ready to represent clients across the nation who have been exposed to this toxic chemical. Let us fight on your behalf to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at (877) 958-7920 to request your free initial case evaluation.