Over the Christmas weekend, the popular accessory store Claire’s began pulling makeup marketed at young girls and teenagers from its shelves due to claims that asbestos had been found in it.
Representatives from Claire’s said that the company will pull some of the disputed cosmetic products from its shelves as a “precautionary measure” while it investigates the claims. However, the company made no comment about the discovery of asbestos in its makeup kits.
Claire’s maintains more than 2,500 stores in North America and Europe, and another 1,200 locations across Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East. The retailer’s parent company also owns and operates more than 350 Icing stores, which sell products targeted to women age 18 – 35.
Testing for asbestos was done by the Scientific Analytical Institute (SAI), a private laboratory that performs environmental, forensic and other types of testing. For the Claire’s test, makeup kits were acquired from 17 retail outlets across 9 different states, including samples from stores in Chicago, Greensboro, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York, Providence, and Seattle.
Asbestos was found in a variety of the samples taken, including blush, compact powder, and eye shadow. According to the SAI report, “all tested positive at alarming rates.”
Most of the samples that tested positive contained tremolite asbestos, although at least one sample also contained chrysotile asbestos. Tremolite asbestos often occurs naturally in or near talc deposits, which are mined for use in cosmetics, drugs, food and industrial applications.
Asbestos-contaminated talcum powder has been implicated as a risk factor in a variety of health problems, including various types of cancer such as mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.
The discovery of asbestos in Claire’s makeup is not the first such finding this year. In July, asbestos was found in store-brand makeup products from Justice, another store that markets its products to young girls and preteens.
Other children’s products that have been found to contain asbestos in recent years include crayons, toy crime lab kits, and baby powder. Asbestos is also a problem in factories where toys and children’s products are made, such as a doll factory in Italy which exposed workers to the carcinogen.
Exposures to asbestos-contaminated products like these may be one reason why younger people are facing an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
Anyone who bought one of the following makeup kits from Claire’s can return it for a full refund:
- Aqua Glitter Kit
- Claire’s Eyeshadow Palette
- Jeweled Heart Kit
- Pink Flip Phone Kit
- Pink Glitter Kit
- Pink Glittery Makeup Kit with Fold Closure
- Pink Jeweled Rectangle Kit
- Pink Jeweled Star Kit
- Pink Sparkly Heart Kit
- Shiny Black Plastic Makeup Kit with Handle