Claire’s, one of the largest retailers in the world for tween and teen girls, has been busy pulling nearly a dozen makeup products from thousands of store shelves across the globe. Asbestos has been discovered in at least one product so far, and it could be lurking in more.
The retailer announced the mass recall after a Rhode Island mom and law firm employee discovered asbestos in her 6-year-old daughter’s makeup kit. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma—an aggressive form of cancer with no cure.
According to the FDA, “both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in close proximity in the earth,” so “questions about the potential contamination of talc with asbestos have been raised since the 1970s.” The FDA says it considers it unacceptable for cosmetic talc to be contaminated with asbestos. “To prevent contamination of talc with asbestos,” says the agency, “it is essential to select talc mining sites carefully and take steps to purify the ore sufficiently.” Still, under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives.
With her background, the Rhode Island mom knew about the potential for contamination and the FDAs position on regulating cosmetics. At the time of purchase, she was involved in a talc case at the law firm where was employed. When the clients sample went out to an independent lab, the mom sent her daughters makeup kit along—and not just for the ride. When the test came back positive for asbestos, a local TV station broke the news to Claire’s.
The company released the following statements:
“At Claire’s the safety of our customers is of paramount importance, and we are passionate about the safety and integrity of our products. We work closely with our vendors to ensure our products are tested and assessed in line with the relevant country regulations and guidelines. As a result of today’s inquiry from WJAR-TV, we have taken the precautionary measure of pulling the items in question from sale (pictured below), and will be conducting an immediate investigation into the alleged issues. Once we have more information and have the results of the investigation we will take the necessary action. If you have items you wish to return in the interim period we will issue a refund.”
“We have retained an independent laboratory to test the cited products in order to determine whether the recent news reports are accurate. In the interim, we have stopped sales of the products and are issuing full refunds to concerned customers. As always, the safety of our customers and products is our top priority.”
The recalled makeup sets include Ultimate Mega Make Up, Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup, Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact, Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup, Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up, Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup, Mint Glitter Make Up, Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Make Up and the Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor immediately. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection could lead to better outcomes.
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "Talc." U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2017. Web. 27 Dec. 2017.
"Claire’s, Product and Safety." Claire's US. Claire's, 22 Dec. 2017. Web. 27 Dec. 2017.
Hirsch, Lauren. "Claire's Pulls Makeup Popular with Girls amid Asbestos Allegations." CNBC. CNBC, 28 Dec. 2017. Web. 29 Dec. 2017.
Sole, Elise. "How This Savvy Mom Found a Dangerous Substance in Her Daughter's Makeup Kit from Claire's." Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!, 27 Dec. 2017. Web. 28 Dec. 2017.