Asbestos discovered in Claire's make-up, FDA reveals

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 6-Mar-2019

The US Food and Drug Administration has found the lung cancer-causing product in three products and is calling for stronger regulation

US watchdog the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed the presence of asbestos in three of Claire's make-up products.

The FDA has been investigating the American retailer, formerly known as Claire’s Accessories, after a number reports of asbestos contamination in its cosmetics surfaced in 2017.

The three products the regulator is urging consumers to avoid are Claire’s Eye Shadows (batch/lot No: 08/17), Claire’s Compact Powder (batch/lot No: 07/15), and Claire’s Contour Palette (batch/lot No: 04/17).

Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to a number of life-threatening diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

“Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is often found near talc, an ingredient in many cosmetic products,” said the FDA. “During talc mining, if [talc mining] sites are not selected carefully and steps are taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos.”

The FDA has said that it is particularly concerned that the asbestos-contaminated products have been marketed to consumers under the age of 18.

“We understand how concerning this finding is for any consumer and parents whose children may have used one of these products,” the watchdog added, urging the cosmetics industry to reinforce safety obligations to manufacturers.

A further investigation will take place to examine the beauty industry’s sourcing of talc. However, further details are yet to be announced.

Brands are being encouraging to register their products and ingredients to the FDA’s Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).

“This programme provides a mechanism for cosmetic manufacturers, distributors and packers to voluntarily file information on their products that are currently being marketed to US consumers and to register their manufacturing and/or packaging facility locations,” explained the FDA.

In April 2018, two Claire’s make-up kits were banned from sale in the UK, due to concerns that they may contain asbestos.

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