A consumer watchdog group has found three makeup products from Claire’s, a popular store for young girls, are “asbestos laden”.
The Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) and their national network sent fifteen makeup products geared towards both kids and adults to STAT Analysis Corporation in Chicago.
Researchers found these three products had high-levels of the cancer-causing mineral:
- Claire's Contour Palette: tested for 84,746 fibers per gram of asbestos
- Claire's Shadow and Highlight Finishing Kit: tested for 61,538 fibers per gram of asbestos
- Claire's Compact Powder: tested for 153,846 fibers per gram of asbestos
“There's no safe level of asbestos,” Director of CoPIRG Danny Katz told 9NEWS. “Asbestos can be inhaled, ingested, put it on your skin for a long period. All of those things can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, [and] skin cancer.”
CoPIRG began this most-recent study after Claire’s came under fire last year for asbestos found in other makeup products.
The store pulled nine products from its shelves in 2017, but announced in January of this year that they did their own testing that did not find any asbestos.
Claire’s is also denying these most recent allegations in a statement posted to their website.
In part, the company wrote:
“Claire’s categorically denies that the testing by STAT, relied upon by PIRG, is accurate. The test methods that were used by STAT are obsolete and unreliable, and STAT is not certified to perform the type of testing necessary for talc-based products. In contrast, Claire’s has conducted extensive testing and investigation in cooperation with relevant authorities, including the FDA, Health Canada, and a number of EU enforcement agencies, to demonstrate that Claire’s products are asbestos-free and comply with all relevant safety regulations.”
STAT Analysis Corporation shows their accreditation for Asbestos Fiber Count by Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) on their website.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring, carcinogenic mineral that can be found in the ground near another naturally occurring, but noncarcinogenic mineral called talc.
Talc is a common ingredient in sparkly, shimmery, and powdery makeup that can become dangerous if it gets mixed up with asbestos in the mining process.
Although companies are required to make sure their products are safe, law does not force those companies to submit proof to the FDA.
“The FDA monitors for potential safety problems with cosmetic products on the market and takes action when needed to protect public health,” the Administration said on their website. “Before we can take such action against a cosmetic, we need sound scientific data to show that it is harmful under its intended use.”
CoPIRG hopes their new study changes not only the way Claire’s makes its products, but also the way the FDA regulates them.
“Claire's needs to recall these products,” Katz said. “They need to inform the people that bought them that these products contain asbestos, but we also need Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to take action and make sure that not only do we clearly ban asbestos from beauty care products, but we also are doing independent testing to verify the companies are doing the right thing.”
9NEWS reached out to the FDA. Spokesperson Peter Cassell said, “The FDA takes the possible presence of asbestos in cosmetics very seriously. The FDA is actively investigating reports of asbestos contamination in certain cosmetic products from Claire’s Stores, Inc. and will provide additional information for consumers as it becomes available. We welcome the data provided by the Public Interest Research Group and will review it in its entirety to inform our efforts.”
Claire’s statement in its entirety:
At Claire’s, customer safety is of paramount concern, and we pride ourselves in providing our customers with quality products that we stand by, so we wish to address a recent report that cosmetics sold by Claire’s may contain asbestos. We want to assure our customers that all of our products are safe and asbestos-free. Claire’s categorically denies that the testing by STAT, relied upon by PIRG, is accurate. The test methods that were used by STAT are obsolete and unreliable, and STAT is not certified to perform the type of testing necessary for talc-based products. In contrast, Claire’s has conducted extensive testing and investigation in cooperation with relevant authorities, including the FDA, Health Canada, and a number of EU enforcement agencies, to demonstrate that Claire’s products are asbestos-free and comply with all relevant safety regulations. Indeed, testing by an independent laboratory of fifteen samples confirms that the products tested by STAT are asbestos-free.