On March 5, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement warning consumers about the presence of asbestos in makeup sold by the retailer Claire’s. The chain, which is often found at malls, sells jewelry, accessories, and makeup marketed towards tweens and teens.
This week’s warning is an update related to a discovery in 2017 that products sold by Claire’s and Justice, another store marketed towards tweens and teens, had possible contamination with asbestos, a known fatal carcinogen.
At the time, Justice pulled a highlighter after a North Carolina TV station paid for independent testing of the makeup and found asbestos in it. Despite pulling the product off shelves, Justice said its own independent testing found no asbestos. A second round of testing found asbestos in eight Justice makeup products sold between March and June 2017, and which the company recalled.
Now, the FDA has announced that independent testing confirmed the presence of asbestos in three of the product samples from Claire’s and one of the product samples from Justice (believed to be one of the products the company already recalled). This week’s safety alert from the FDA warns consumers to avoid the following Claire’s products because each one tested positive for asbestos:
- Claire’s Eye Shadows – Batch No/Lot No: 08/17
- Claire’s Compact Powder – Batch No/Lot No: 07/15
- Claire’s Contour Palette – Batch No/Lot No: 04/17
Anyone who has the products is advised to stop using them immediately. Claire’s told the FDA that they do not believe the affected products are still currently available for purchase in their stores, but, according to the FDA, refused to issue a their own recall.
“The FDA requested that Claire’s recall the products because they should not be used by consumers,” the agency wrote in their statement. “Claire’s has refused to comply with the FDA’s request, and the agency does not have authority to mandate a recall. The FDA is therefore warning consumers not to use these products and will continue to communicate our safety concerns about them.”
You can read more about the FDA’s inability to review or approve products sold in makeup, as well as conduct pre-market safety testing, at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Here are some photos of the affected Claire’s products:
So far, no adverse reactions related to exposure to the affected makeup has been reported to the agency. If you experience a problem you think could be related to one of the products, you should report it to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. You can complete and submit the report online, or download and complete the form, and then submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.
The FDA urged companies that make cosmetics to take steps to ensure all ingredients in beauty products are safe.
“Under the current regulatory framework, cosmetics manufacturers and retailers bear critical responsibilities in assuring the safety of their products,” they wrote “That’s why today, we’re calling upon the cosmetic industry to take important new steps. Ultimately, the FDA also seeks to engage with stakeholders to work on other new opportunities to improve our overall framework for assuring the safety of the cosmetic products that consumers use.”
You can check the FDA’s website for recalls and alerts about cosmetic products, or check with the Environmental Working Group to verify that your products are toxin-free.