The non-profit consumer watchdog group Unites States Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), tested makeup products containing talc and found three that contained high levels of asbestos. All three products came from the Illinois-based retailer Claire’s. Claire’s sells fashion accessories and jewelry mainly to girls and young women nationwide.
Talc is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products and can contain asbestos. Asbestos is a highly toxic substance that has been banned from many commercial uses, because exposure can lead to lung cancer or mesothelioma. Using it on skin over time increases the risk of skin cancer. There is no amount of asbestos exposure that is considered to be safe.
The products affected were Claire’s shadow and highlighting kit, compact powder, and the contour palette. PIRG called on the FDA to perform regular testing of cosmetics for harmful chemicals, and further said Claire’s should pull the items from sale immediately. A statement from Claire’s categorically denied the accuracy of the testing done by PIRG, saying the methods used are obsolete and unreliable.
In December, Claire’s voluntarily recalled nine makeup products after a lab in North Carolina showed positive tests for asbestos in those products. A concerned mother had sent her child’s glitter makeup kit from Claire’s for testing. She was shocked to find that the makeup marketed to children contained tremolite asbestos. To determine the extent of the problem, she and another bought 17 different Claire’s makeup products from nine different states and found that every single one contained tremolite asbestos.
The tests were conducted at Scientific Analytical Institute by a scientist who expressed concern that the products had been bought within two weeks of the testing. The scientist said this meant that it was unavoidable that other children had also been potentially exposed to the toxic substance.
In January 2017, Claire’s announced that new testing from two certified independent labs confirmed that their products are free of asbestos and completely safe. As of March 2018, however, debate about the safety of these products remained ongoing.
According to the executive director of Massachusetts-based PIRG, expert opinion holds that nothing that contains asbestos should be put on the body. Asbestos-related diseases generally develop slowly, over long periods of time, after particles of the substance are inhaled and lodge in the respiratory system. The average latency period for mesothelioma from exposure to diagnosis is 35 to 40 years.
There are several avenues of compensation available to those who have suffered harm from exposure to toxic chemicals or substances. These include
Contact Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. to speak to an experienced Delaware asbestos lawyer if you may have been exposed to asbestos. For more than 30 years, our firm has been dedicated to helping injured people. Call us at 302-656-5445 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation in our Wilmington or Georgetown offices. We represent clients throughout Delaware including Dover, New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.