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Independent lab results confirm that makeup CALPIRG Education Fund found for sale at Claire’s retail stores across the country is contaminated with asbestos, which causes cancer. Parents and consumers need to know about these asbestos-laden makeup products. We alerted Claire’s to these test results more than a week ago and asked the company to recall these items immediately and to inform customers. Claire’s has responded, stating that it has not found asbestos contamination in its makeup products.
“Parents should be able to trust that the makeup they buy for their kids is safe,” said Emily Rusch, Executive Director with CALPIRG Education Fund. “Claire’s should immediately recall the three makeup products and investigate how such high levels of asbestos were found in these products.”
Using an accredited laboratory, CALPIRG Education Fund tested 15 kids’ and adult’s makeup products containing talc from several different brands. The products that tested positive for asbestos were re-tested to confirm the results. Both rounds of test results were given to Claire’s and the FDA.
Lab results showed three Claire’s makeup products contained asbestos:
Claire’s Contour Palette: tested for 84,746 fibers of asbestos per gram of product
Claire’s Shadow and Highlight Finishing Kit: tested for 61,538 fibers of asbestos per gram of product
Claire’s Compact Powder: tested for 153,846 fibers of asbestos per gram of product
“There’s no safe limit of asbestos in cosmetics,” said Sonya Kenkare, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist. “Congress and the FDA should take immediate action to ensure that the products we use daily, especially those marketed towards kids and teens, are free of asbestos contamination.”
"It is unacceptable to find asbestos in any products, especially products being sold to kids,” said Linda Reinstein, President and CEO of The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).
No one adds pure asbestos to makeup. However, asbestos can occur naturally in talc, and talc is commonly added to cosmetics. Sparkly, shimmery, and powdery makeup often contains talc as a major ingredient. Inhaling or ingesting any form of asbestos can lead to serious health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Repeated topical exposure to asbestos may also result in increased skin cancer risk.
We decided to test the makeup when Claire’s recalled nine makeup products in December, after a North Carolina-based lab showed the makeup tested positive for asbestos. Claire’s later released a statement that, according to its internal testing, it did not find any asbestos in its products. However, our new testing on different products suggests that the asbestos problem at Claire's is pervasive and ongoing. Policymakers should require makeup companies to test products for asbestos, especially those containing talc, prior to selling them. Consumers should contact makeup companies directly to find out if their products’ talc is sourced safely.
“We have to better regulate deadly, asbestos-laced products. We’ve known that for decades. It makes no sense that our kids may bring them home from the mall,” said Rusch.
Read our full report on asbestos in Claire’s makeup here.
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