Claire’s Recalls Asbestos-Containing Makeup

Asbestos Exposure & Bans

National children’s retailer Claire’s has issued a recall of nine makeup products after reports surfaced they may contain cancer-causing asbestos fibers.

An inquiry from a Rhode Island-based mother sparked the recall. Curious about what was in her 6-year-old daughter’s glitter makeup, Kristi Warner sent samples to an independent lab in North Carolina for testing.

The makeup contained traces of tremolite asbestos, according to Warner. Tremolite is not used commercially, but can be found as a contaminant in talc, a common ingredient in cosmetics.

Inhaling or ingesting any form of asbestos can lead to serious health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

“I physically sank,” Warner told Rhode Island TV station WJAR. “I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home.”

Claire’s first announced the recall Saturday on Twitter and later released a statement on its website.

“As a result of today’s inquiry from WJAR-TV, we have taken the precautionary measure of pulling the items in question from sale and will be conducting an immediate investigation into the alleged issues,” the statement said. “Once we have more information and have the results of the investigation we will take the necessary action.”

The company released an updated statement Thursday addressing refunds and the investigation:

“We have retained an independent laboratory to test the cited products in order to determine whether the recent news reports are accurate. In the interim we have stopped sales of the products and are issuing full refunds to concerned customers. As always, the safety of our customers and products is our top priority.”

Nine Claire’s Makeup Products Recalled

After receiving the devastating test results from the glitter makeup purchased at a Claire’s in Rhode Island, Warner bought several other products from Claire’s stores in other states.

The results were the same: Asbestos contamination. As a result, Claire’s issued a recall of nine of its cosmetic products:

  • Ultimate Mega Make Up Set
  • Metallic Hot Pink Glitter 48 Piece Makeup Set
  • Pink Glitter Cellphone Makeup Compact
  • Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Star Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Set
  • Mint Glitter Make Up Set
  • Rainbow Bedazzled Rectangle Make Up Set
  • Pink Glitter Palette with Eyeshadow & Lip Gloss

“At Claire’s the safety of our customers is of paramount importance, and we are passionate about the safety and integrity of our products,” the company said in the recall announcement. “We work closely with our vendors to ensure our products are tested and assessed in line with the relevant country regulations and guidelines.”

Claire’s Joins Justice in Asbestos Controversy

The Claire’s recall comes a little over five months after Justice, another retail chain marketed to girls and young women, stopped selling its Just Shine Shimmer Powder.

An investigation showed the product contained talc contaminated with asbestos, along with traces of heavy metals such as lead, chromium, barium and selenium.

Justice’s recall came about in a similar way, after a North Carolina TV station claimed the company’s product contained asbestos. Products from both companies were tested at the Scientific Analytical Institute (SAI), a government-licensed lab in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Claire’s and Justice join other children’s retailers which pulled products in recent years because of asbestos concerns. In 2015, Party City and Toys “R” Us stopped selling brands of crayons made in China after it was discovered they contained asbestos-contaminated talc.

“I would treat it like a deadly poison because it is one,” Sean Fitzgerald, director of research and analytical services at SAI, told in July. “I’m just trying to make people more aware they need to do testing, and not senselessly expose people to asbestos, especially kids.”

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