Asbestos-contaminated talcum powder was detected in baby products on sale in Cambodia, triggering a temporary ban on its import and sale nationwide.
The Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) said in a news release that laboratory tests revealed samples of some baby talcum powder products contained the presence of asbestos, which is harmful to humans.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that can be caused by asbestos.
"CCF has sampled and tested baby powder products to detect asbestos, which is harmful to consumer health," said the release.
To protect consumers’ health, especially infants and children, CCF has introduced some temporary measures.
Importers and distributors of baby powder products have been temporarily suspended from importing and distributing all products and collecting baby products from the market.
“The companies must suspend the import, distribution and collection of powder products, and report to the CCF on the quantity of products," according to the release this week.
The CCF’s release said it has set aside two weeks for import and distribution companies to collaborate with the Ministry of Commerce’s department to bring samples of products found to contain asbestos to the international capacity and recognition laboratory for testing.
Chan Phalkun, whose child was affected by false formula milk powder, told Kiripost, “There is a severe lack of health security management in Cambodia. It was two years ago that the milk problem was identified due to a lack of proper testing prior, and now it is a baby powder problem.”
“Cambodia has a very weak health security management system. The milk product problem only arose two years ago due to negligence in it not being properly tested before it was allowed to hit the market,” she added.
She said the recent international news about Johnson's baby powder has raised an issue, but according to the CFF, there are many baby powder brands on the Cambodian market that can cause cancer to consumers.
The mother explained, “In the case of milk products, justice was served, but law enforcement remains slow. The defendant does not seem a little scared, even though the victims always take the time to participate in this trial.”
She continued, “Justice is on the decision of the judge, but compensation and conviction have not yet been implemented. That is the equivalent of not getting justice yet.”
CCF urged companies to cooperate with the manufacturers based on the principle of transparency and scientific support to ensure that all baby powder products are distributed and marketed that do not contain asbestos.