Asbestos in Claire’s Makeup
Earlier in March, makeup from Claire’s and Justice stores tested positive for asbestos, the carcinogen that causes mesothelioma and lung cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested makeup from both Claire’s and Justice and found asbestos in three of Claire’s products and one of Justice’s products. The products include: eye shadow, compact powder, and contour powder for Claire’s and a shimmer powder for Justice. Claire’s denied the findings and said that their products are safe, but independent testers disputed their safety. Claire’s finally removed all of the mentioned products and all products that contain talc.
Cosmetic companies use talc to prevent caking and to make their products opaque. Asbestos is often found near talc deposits, making it easy for talc to be contaminated with the substance. Talc is generally safe when in products, but if it is contaminated with asbestos it is far more dangerous.
The FDA is seeking greater authority to regulate the cosmetic industry. Current laws do not require any review or approval by the FDA before being sold to consumers. Instead, responsibility falls on companies to not sell potentially dangerous cosmetics to the public. The FDA can give warnings about products but cannot prevent products from being sold.
The FDA is going to investigate cosmetic manufacturers’ sources for talc and the steps taken to test the raw material for contaminants like asbestos. The FDA is also going to investigate the amount of cosmetic products with talc. New proposed rules could also require companies to report adverse events, provide access to consumer complaints during inspections, and disclose allergens on product labels. Regulators in the United States are currently asking cosmetics companies to register their products voluntarily and provide the FDA with ingredient lists.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and now have mesothelioma or lung cancer, call us at 412-471-3980 or visit our website and fill out our contact form to speak to an attorney and learn your options.
Chad Terhune, “FDA finds asbestos in three Claire’s cosmetics products” (March 5, 2019). [Link]
Merrit Kennedy, “FDA Says It Found Asbestos In Makeup At Claire’s” NPR (March 6, 2019). [Link]