Claire’s Recalls Makeup Possibly Contaminated With Asbestos

March 13, 2019 Updated: March 13, 2019

The Food and Drug Administration has advised people to stop using certain lines of Claire’s makeup products after tests showed they may contain asbestos.

Officials said in a March 12 advisory that people should not use Claire’s eye shadows, compact powder, and contour palette “because they may be contaminated with asbestos fibers.”

Contaminated makeup products
The FDA is advising consumers not to use any of the pictured Claire’s makeup products. (FDA)

The agency initially issued a safety alert last week targeting the same products, but the findings were disputed by Claire’s.

“The FDA requested that Claire’s recall the products because they should not be used by consumers,” the agency said in the alert.

“Claire’s has refused to comply with the FDA’s request, and the agency does not have authority to mandate a recall. The FDA is therefore warning consumers not to use these products and will continue to communicate our safety concerns about them.”

‘Mischaracterized’ Test Reports?

The makeup giant challenged the agency’s findings, claiming “the FDA test reports have mischaracterized fibers in the makeup as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers.”

Claire’s assured customers on March 6 of the safety of their products, and in a March 12 voluntary recall announcement said they would proceed with the pulling the products “out of an abundance of caution.”

“We initiated this voluntary recall after testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated the possible presence of asbestos fibers in product samples from one lot of each product. Inhalation of asbestos over time has been linked to serious adverse health consequences,” it continued.

According to the recall notice, the products were sold between October 2016 and March 2019.

The recall covers Claire’s eyeshadows, UPC #888711847165, SKU #84716, Lot No. 08/17, Claire’s compact powder, UPC #888711839153, SKU #83915, Lot No. 07/15, and Claire’s contour palette, UPC #888711401947, SKU #40194, Lot No. 04/17.

The SKUs and UPCs can be found on the price tags affixed to the products, and all batch numbers are shown on the back panels below the ingredient lists, according to the recall.

Consumers with any of the recalled makeup should stop using it and return them to a Claire’s store for a full refund.

“Claire’s understands many parents trust and expect us to hold the cosmetics purchased by and for their children to the highest possible safety standards. In the last year, Claire’s switched to talc-free manufacturing for all its cosmetics,” the company’s recall said.

The company added, “to date, Claire’s is not aware of any adverse reactions, injuries or illness caused by the possible presence of asbestos in the recalled products.”

The FDA explained how asbestos may have found its way into the samples of makeup that were tested.

“Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is often found near talc, an ingredient in many cosmetic products. Asbestos, however, is a known carcinogen and its health risks are well-documented. During talc mining, if talc mining sites are not selected carefully and steps are taken to purify the talc ore sufficiently, the talc may be contaminated with asbestos.”

The food and drug safety agency said that it stood by its findings and consumer advisory, despite pushback from Claire’s.

“The FDA is confident in the scientific validity of the testing results provided by two, separate third-party labs,” an FDA spokesman told TODAY. “These labs are well-respected by not only the FDA, but by those involved in the broad topic of asbestos nationwide.”

The agency said the samples of the following products tested positive for tremolite asbestos during FDA testing:

Claire’s eye shadows – Batch No/Lot No: 08/17
Claire’s compact powder – Batch No/Lot No: 07/15
Claire’s contour palette – Batch No/Lot No: 04/17

They said testing was conducted on behalf of FDA by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and AMA Analytical Services Inc.

“In this case, it provided significant reassurances to the FDA when results from various tests conducted at the two, different labs aligned. In addition, the FDA’s foremost subject matter experts in this area reviewed and confirmed that all the results are supportable and valid. The bottom line is that because of the health risks posed by asbestos, which are well-documented by other government agencies, it was the FDA’s responsibility to promptly share these findings with American consumers and warn them about their potential public health threat.”

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM
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