The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has taken note of a recent video on social media on the ongoing discussions linking the use of Johnson's baby talcum powder with ovarian cancers.
The FDA wishes to assure the public that it has since 2018 increased its regulatory activities and put in appropriate measures to ensure public safety in the use of all cosmetic products containing talcum powder. Talc as a product naturally found near asbestos, has the potential to become contaminated during the mining process. Over-exposure to such contaminated talc has been linked to cases of ovarian and lung cancers.
All talc-containing powders including Johnson's Baby Powder registered for use in Ghana are rigorously evaluated to ensure that they are asbestos-free.
FDA undertakes the underlisted regulatory activities on all talc-based products to ensure they are free from asbestos.
1. Stringent evaluation of documentation submitted for registration to ensure that talc in these products are certified from the country of origin as asbestos-free.
2. Rigorous Quality Control Laboratory analysis to verify that indeed the talc-containing powders submitted do not contain asbestos.
3. Targeted biennial market surveillance activities to verify that products being marketed continue to be free of asbestos.
In the last market surveillance activity in 2018 a total of 50 different talc based cosmetic powders were tested.
4. Periodic evaluation of available peer-reviewed publications and scientific data from studies by the FDA's expert Technical Advisory Committee on Safety of Products
Current scientific evidence available and a recent scientific study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2020 which reviewed over 250,000 women, from four large studies, including questioning and follow up for an average of 11 years found that women who used talc in the venereal regions were not at higher risk of ovarian cancer than those who did not.
The FDA will continue to analyze cosmetic powders that contain talc for asbestos contamination, monitor closely and review any new safety data related to the use of talc in these products, take appropriate action and inform the public accordingly.
For additional information on this issue, the general public is advised to read our Frequently Asked Questions on the News Section of the MedSafety App (which can be downloaded from Google Play Store or the Apps Store) or visit our website- http://fdaghana.gov.gh
DELESE A. A. DARKO (MRS)
(Chief Executive Officer)
The FDA exists to protect public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, food, biological products, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemical substances, tobacco and the conduct of clinical trials in the country.