FDA Says It Found Asbestos In Claire’s Cosmetics Products

People walk by a Claire's store at the Northgate Mall on March 19, 2018 in San Rafael, California.
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The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use certain Claire’s cosmetics after the agency found asbestos in products that it tested. Claire’s, a popular mall store that caters to teenage girls, sells makeup under its own brand, according to The Hill. Some of that makeup, including eye shadows, compact powders, and contour pallets, tested positive for the carcinogen.

“Tests confirmed the presence of asbestos in three of the product samples collected from Claire’s,” the FDA said, warning consumers to avoid the products. “We understand how concerning this finding is for any consumer and parents whose children may have used one of these products.”

The company has refused to issue a recall despite the FDA’s request to do so, but it did say that it would remove the products from its shelves and honor any returns customers wanted to make.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have removed the three products identified by the FDA from our stores, and are also removing any remaining talc based cosmetic products,” Claire’s said. “We will honor returns of any Claire’s talc based cosmetics.”

The company added that it was “disappointed that the FDA has taken this step, and we will continue to work with them to demonstrate the safety of our products.”

The company also denied that any of their products have been found to be unsafe and said that they did their own independent testing with multiple accredited laboratories and none found anything that would violate current cosmetic regulations. Claire’s says that the FDA’s test results contained errors. The company has faced other challenges this year, according to The New York Times, after Claire’s filed for bankruptcy in March last year.

Amidst the findings, the FDA says that part of the problem is its inability to regulate cosmetics. For instance, the regulatory agency isn’t able to force the company to recall contaminated products and said that cosmetic companies are essentially required to police themselves.

The FDA has also been battling with the cosmetics industry at large, calling on the industry to be more transparent about its products, particularly talc, which can contain asbestos because the chemicals can combine while being mined. Asbestos is considered to be one of the deadliest substances in existence according to the Environmental Working Group’s vice president Scott Faber.

Johnson & Johnson has also been under scrutiny for preventing negative information about talc powders from being released to the public, which is part of the impetus for the FDA to call for stronger regulation of the cosmetics industry.