In a shocking report conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the consumer protection organization discovered a dangerous amount of lethal asbestos found in make-up products sold by Clair’s and Justice.
According to the Huffington Post, it was identified through extensive lab testing by the FDA “that three powdered makeup products from Claire’s and one from Justice contained asbestos, a mineral fiber that once was commonly used in building construction materials. Exposure to asbestos fibers and particles may cause lung disease.” Asbestos is a silicate based, heat-resistant material used in everyday items ranging from fabrics to brake linings in vehicles.
In an official release by the FDA, they stated that “Consumers who have these batches/lots of Claire’s Eye Shadow, Compact Powder, and Contour in their home should stop using them. Claire’s has informed us that it does not believe that affected products are still available for sale.
The disturbing fact regarding this story is that this warning comes several years after the FDA first began to identify dangerous materials in Clair’s cosmetics and still allowed the products to be purchased by consumers. The FDA began outsourcing testing of Clair’s and Justice products back in 2017, and only recently began to look over the results in February of this year. According to an official spokeswoman from Clairs, they feel the crux of the issue was on the FDA, whose recent results were said to “show significant errors.” According to the spokesperson, “Specifically, the FDA test reports have mis-characterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers,” she said. “Despite our efforts to discuss these issues with the FDA, they insisted on moving forward with their release.”
As of publishing, there are currently no public reports of any injuries or illnesses as a result of the asbestos that were in the batches of specific cosmetic products sold by Clair’s and Justice. As an additional precautionary action, Clair’s and Justice also removed all cosmetic items that contain the ingredient talc. According to the FDA, this is a wise move since talc could potentially be contaminated with asbestos.
In the statement regarding the recall, the FDA explained “Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is often found near talc, an ingredient in many cosmetic products. Asbestos however, is a known carcinogen and its health risks are well-documented. During talc mining, if talc mining sites are not selected carefully and steps are taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos.”
As a result of this recal scare, there are members of congress considering legislation to change some of the oversight regulations and guidelines regarding the cosmetic industry’s relationship to the FDA. Currently, cosmetic and beauty companies do not have to comply with current FDA testing as pharmaceuticals and food products have too, as long as they “ensure the talc they use is free from the mineral.”
More updates to come as the story continues to progress.
Sources: Huffington Post, Food and Drug Administration, CBS News