Asbestos Found in Claire’s Kids Makeup

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

MASSPIRG Education Fund

Independent lab results have confirmed that makeup found for sale at Claire’s retail stores across the country is contaminated with asbestos, according to a new report entitled “In Your Face” from the MASSPIRG Education Fund. Parents and consumers need to be alerted to these asbestos-laden makeup products. Claire’s responded 12 hours before the scheduled release of  this report, 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 Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of the MASSPIRG 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, the U.S. PIRG 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:

  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

“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).

Asbestos is not used commercially in makeup, but can be found as a contaminant in talc, a common ingredient in 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.

The Education Fund 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, this 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.

“We have to better regulate deadly, asbestos-laced products. It makes no sense that our kids may bring them home from the mall,” said Ms.Domenitz.

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

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MASSPIRG Education Fund 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.