Asbestos Found in Claire’s Kids Makeup (Again)

Media Contacts
Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG; Director, Stop Toxic PFAS Campaign, PIRG

New studies indicate asbestos contamination in Claire’s makeup products sold nationally; Policymakers should regulate asbestos

Independent lab results confirm that makeup the Maryland PIRG Foundation found for sale at Claire’s retail stores 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.

We decided to test the makeup when Claire’s recalled nine makeup products in December when they 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.

“Parents should be able to trust that the makeup they buy for their kids is safe,” said Maryland PIRG Foundation Director Emily Scarr. “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, the Maryland PIRG Foundation 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:

  1. Claire’s Contour Palette: tested for 84,746 fibers per gram of asbestos
  2. Claire’s Shadow and Highlight Finishing Kit: tested for 61,538 fibers per gram of asbestos
  3. Claire’s Compact Powder: tested for 153,846 fibers per gram of asbestos

No one adds pure asbestos to makeup. However, asbestos can be found as a contaminant in talc. 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 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 Scarr

Read our full report on asbestos in Claire’s makeup here. 

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Maryland PIRG Foundation is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety, or well-being.