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Asbestos found in makeup products marketed to children and teens

A few days before Christmas, a recall announcement raised concerns for many parents. Claire's, a popular retailer that sells accessories, beauty products, and jewelry to girls and young women, decided to pull some of its makeup products after a Rhode Island television station aired a story that quickly gained national attention. A woman contacted the station after claiming that she sent a makeup kit her daughter had received as a gift to a laboratory and the results indicated the presence of termolite asbestos.

The federal Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of tremolite asbestos in talc or other cosmetic products because it is a carcinogen that causes mesothelioma and lung cancer. Claire's issued a statement from its headquarters in Pembroke Pines, Florida, calling for the removal of certain products until an outside laboratory could perform tests. This news came after another company that markets to tweens and teens had withdrawn makeup products earlier this year when an independent lab found similar results.

What is tremolite asbestos?

Tremolite asbestos is a mineral fiber that causes cancer if inhaled. If particles get into the lungs, they will stay there for a long time. Mesothelioma may take decades to form after any exposure, so the painful effects may not be felt for decades.

What did this recall include?

Affected products include palettes with lip gloss and eye shadow as well as some makeup sets that have glitter products.

Aren't makeups regulated?

At this time, cosmetics and personal care items do not have the same level of regulation as foods and medicines. Although asbestos should never be included as an ingredient within makeup products, we have to trust that the firms selling these products know what is within them. Chemicals used in beauty products are often developed and supplied by third-party vendors with questionable quality control practices before being repackaged by merchants.

What should I do?

Exercise caution. Claire's has sent their products to an independent lab and pledges additional action based upon the results. We must remain vigilant to prevent harmful items from hurting us. Products that market glitter and glamour to our children need to be safe.

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