Concerns about the presence of asbestos in some of the cosmetics sold by Claire’s began to surface in 2017, triggered from some test laboratories. This prompted Claire’s to withdraw nine products from the market. Claire’s is a major fashion brand, operating from 7,500 locations across 45 countries.
Due to these concerns, the FDA undertook its own tests of the retailer’s cosmetics. In a statement issues by the FDA, a spokesperson notes: “Because the 2017 testing was done by third-party laboratories, the agency believed it was important to scientifically confirm that these reports were accurate”.
The FDA has indicated three items that consumers to avoid following the newly issued test results. These products are: Claire’s Eye Shadows (batch/lot No: 08/17), Claire’s Compact Powder (batch/lot No: 07/15), and Claire’s Contour Palette (batch/lot No: 04/17). The FDA does not have the authority to enforce a recall.
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals. The recovery of asbestos in the products is of serious concern, given that exposure to asbestos fibres can result in several life-threatening diseases, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening. Asbestos is currently estimated to cause 255,000 deaths per year.
Claire’s contend that the FDA tests have mis-identified fibers as asbestos. However, the retailer has indicated that it will remove the products from its stores.
With the cosmetics affected, in a statement Claire’s said: “At Claire’s, customer safety is paramount, and we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest quality and safest products. We assure customers that our products are safe.”
The statement follows: “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. We will honour returns of any Claire’s talc-based cosmetics.”
Going forward, the FDA is encouraging brands to register their products and ingredients onto the FDA’s Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP). In time, the Agency hopes to make the requirement part of a formal regulation.