Asbestos has been found in makeup marketed to teen and tween girls, Teen Vogue is reporting. Meanwhile, the Justice Clothing Store, which sells the tainted products, has pulled them from their shelves while conducting its own investigation.
Asbestos was once commonly used in a variety of industrial and consumer products, such as insulation. However, the fibers from the mineral, when breathed into the lungs, can cause a variety of diseases, including cancer. Needless to say, the federal government banned its use except in extremely rare circumstances. Makeup, whether market to teens or adult women, was not one of those exceptions, and asbestos remains banned in cosmetics.
However, Justice – a retailer specializing in clothing and other merchandise intended for teen and tween girls – was found to be selling makeup containing the deadly substance.
So how did a deadly substance wind up in a product intended for children? No one is quite certain, but it appears something went wrong in the manufacturing process.
Powdered makeup is generally composed of talc – a harmless, naturally-occurring mineral used in baby power, among other uses. When WTVD (Durham) investigated Just Shine Shimmer Powder, a chemical laboratory found that the talc contained tremolite asbestos fibers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all makeup be tested for asbestos. Somehow, somewhere along the chain between the manufacturing process and the retail sales process, the asbestos-containing makeup managed to slip through the cracks.
In a statement, a Justice spokesperson said that the retailer is removing the product until further notice.
“Justice is committed to the safety and integrity of our products. Upon receiving the inquiry from WTVD, we immediately began an independent investigation. We cannot speculate regarding the matter until we have more information. Nonetheless, out of an abundance of caution, we have stopped the sale of this product while we investigate.”
A quick look at Justice’s website reveals that several products bearing the name “Just Shine Shimmer” are still available for purchase, including a “Just Shine Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette” and a “Just Shine Shimmer Makeup Palette.” This writer was able to “purchase” both of those products without being told that they were no longer available (I proceeded to Checkout but did not input my credit card number or complete the transaction). However, it bears noting that it is not clear whether or not those products are from the same line that is known to have been tainted with asbestos, although their names are similar.
Chemist Sean Fitzgerald explained the dangers of asbestos, particularly when it comes to younger people.
“Fibers like this get into your breathing zone, and when you inhale, these fibers can get into the lung and go to the very bottom of the lung, and that is exactly where you have the greatest likelihood of asbestos to cause disease. Children should not be allowed to breathe it. If a 10-year-old inhaled this fiber today, when he’s 50 years old, it’s still there.”
If you or your daughter have purchased Just Shine Shimmer Powder from Justice, you are advised to discontinue its use until further notice.
[Featured Image by Thomas-Soellner/Thinkstock]