Asbestos-containing make-up continues to be a subject that won’t go away, and it shouldn’t until no traces of this cancer-causing mineral are found in consumer products, especially those geared toward children.
The latest development on this topic once again shined a spotlight on Illinois-based Claire’s Stores – a fashion accessories chain with stores throughout U.S. shopping malls. In February, the watchdog group U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) conducted tests on 15 cosmetic products that contained talc, and were made by four different companies.
Three Claire’s products contained asbestos
Asbestos was found in three products – blush, eye shadow and compact powder. All were made by Claire’s, which has denied the accusations. Asbestos is known to be found in talc, a common ingredient in cosmetics, typically in sparkly or powdery make-up.
If inhaled, the microscopic fibers in asbestos may lead to lung cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer that develops in the linings of the lungs, abdomen and heart. Similar dangers could surface if asbestos-containing cosmetics are applied to the skin.
It may take decades for people exposed to asbestos to show signs of illness. That has been the case for many construction workers, mechanics and firefighters who handled asbestos-containing products while on the job from the 1940s to 1970s.
Claire’s faced similar problems last year
This isn’t the first time that Claire’s has gained notoriety regarding asbestos. Last year, several of Claire’s products marketed toward teens and pre-teens reportedly were found to contain asbestos, but the company denied that, too.
As a result of that incident, U.S. lawmakers are looking at ways to prevent potential asbestos-related tragedies. In early February, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) introduced the Children’s Product Warning Label Act of 2018, which would require cosmetic companies to include a warning label that the product was not tested for asbestos.
U.S. PIRG has urged Claire’s to remove the products. Let’s hope that this matter may be resolved quickly as we don’t want to see a new generation succumbing to cancer-related illnesses caused by asbestos exposure.
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