Asbestos Contamination Cited in Makeup Recall 

Asbestos Contamination Cited in Makeup Recall 

Twice in the past three months, asbestos contamination has been the cause of a recall by Claire’s, the makeup company. The company markets beauty products for young girls. Asbestos exposure is a proven cause of mesothelioma, a cancer that can attack the lungs, heart, or abdomen. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed in March that the independent testing of product samples from Claire’s showed that the products were contaminated. Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally near talc, which is an ingredient commonly used in makeup. Talc itself has been implicated in ovarian and uterine cancer.

The Company Was Notified in 2017

Claire’s originally refused recommendations by the FDA to recall their products for asbestos contamination. In 2018, the company announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, the company did remove three products from their shelves in March 2019 and reported that they would also remove any other cosmetics that contained talc. 

Products Removed 

Claire’s released a statement at the time of the product removal, saying that the test results for asbestos contamination by the FDA had significant errors. The tests mischaracterized the product fibers as asbestos. They stated that they were removing the three products as a precautionary measure. Customers were warned to not use the recalled products and to return them to their local store for a refund. The three products removed for asbestos contamination were:

  • Claire’s Compact Powder in the white container
  • Claire’s Shadow and Highlight Finishing Kit
  • Claire’s Contour Palette

Asbestos in Cosmetics

Talc that is cosmetic grade is not regulated by the FDA. Under the 1938 act that concerns cosmetics, the FDA isn’t required to review these products, except for color additives. In 1976, the Personal Care Products Council requested that its members only use talc in their products that were free of asbestos, but it is not mandatory. Products that come from overseas are not examined by the FDA for talc. The company that tested the products from Claire’s also tested those from L’Oreal, NYX and Cover Girl. Those products were found to be free from contamination by asbestos. However, talcum powders have been linked to cancers that occur in women.

The Connection Between Talc and Cancer

Many studies have linked talc with ovarian and uterine cancer in women. Johnson & Johnson reportedly knew about the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder since about 1971. However, they never warned their customers of the risk. Many lawsuits have been filed for injuries caused by Johnson & Johnson talc-based powders. A Virginia woman took the case for her ovarian cancer to trial in St. Louis and was granted an award of $110 million. The verdict was appealed by the company. In 2017, a judge upheld that verdict. In other cases, 22 women were awarded $4.7 million.

Sacramento Products Liability Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento products liability lawyer. If you developed cancer and you believe it may have been caused by talc or asbestos contamination or exposure, an experienced products liability lawyer may be able to help. You can call me for my free and friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 around Sacramento. Long-distance callers can reach me at (800) 404-5400, or through my contact form online.

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