Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

City is on alert after asbestos found in baby talcum powder

THE Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it was closely monitoring the situation regarding NUK baby talcum powder, after authorities in South Korea found it contained asbestos, a chemical carcinogen, over the weekend.

The South Korean FDA is to recall and destroy all the suspect products.

It is not known if the baby powder is on sale in Shanghai but Gu Zhenhua, an official with the Shanghai FDA, said they would inspect any products found to be available in the city.

The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said it hadn't found any record of imports of the powder recently. If the powder is for sale in the city, it might have come from other provinces and regions in China.

Shanghai Daily found other NUK baby products on sale in the Westgate Mall on Nanjing Road W., but not its talcum powder. The shop assistants there said the powder hadn't been on sale for some time.

The Shanghai office of the German-based NUK company was not available for comment yesterday.

There was no information about the powder on the company's Website. Clicking on the "baby skin care" link failed to bring up any page.

Doctors said that inhaling asbestos can cause diseases such as cancer of the respiratory system.

"The raw material of the powder, the natural talcum powder, is very likely to contain asbestos," said Chen Ji, director of the department of dermatology at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center.

According to the American Cancer Society's Website (, talcum powder is produced from talc, a magnesium trisilicate mineral, which in its natural form may contain asbestos.

In some European countries and the United States, talcum powder has been banned from use as a raw material in cosmetics.

A regulation on cosmetics issued by China's Ministry of Health says cosmetics should contain no asbestos, but didn't say talcum powder should not be used as a raw material.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend