FDA finds asbestos in Claire’s makeup sold to children, confirming U.S. PIRG test results

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Claire’s still can sell the asbestos-laden products in the U.S., but is not allowed to in Europe

Nearly a year after a U.S. PIRG Education Fund study showed that U.S.-based retailer Claire’s has been selling makeup contaminated with carcinogenic asbestos, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed our test results. Both PIRG Education Fund and the FDA found asbestos contamination in some of Claire’s makeup products marketed to children.

As of March 5, 2019, according to the FDA, the three asbestos-containing products are still available on store shelves in the United States. Nowhere on Claire’s website does it warn U.S. customers about the contaminated makeup, and the company has not offered refunds to customers who purchased the makeup. Unlike many European agencies, the FDA lacks the enforcement power to force Claire’s to remove the products from store shelves.

In response, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s toxics program director Kara Cook-Schultz, who was the lead author on the Claire’s study last year, released this statement:

“We have been doing our part to warn consumers about these products that contain asbestos, but for months Claire’s has not adequately addressed the issue and protected consumers. The FDA should have the power to step in, and hopefully in the future the FDA will have more power to do so. The FDA states that asbestos is a carcinogen, and that makeup companies should take steps to keep asbestos out of cosmetics. It is unconscionable that these products are still being sold to children here in the U.S., while the FDA’s European counterparts were able to make sure these dangerous products have been pulled from the shelves and destroyed in Europe. American kids are still facing an unnecessary and avoidable risk.”