No one expects to learn that their cosmetics contain asbestos. However, one congressman has raised concerns that some cosmetic products marketed to teens and young women contain the dangerous substance that can cause mesothelioma and other types of cancer.
The issue got some media attention in December of last year. A television station in Rhode Island ran a report about testing by a local law firm of cosmetics sold by Claire's Stores, Inc., which owns the Claire's chain of stores that carry girls' accessories.
After the report, which said asbestos was found in the cosmetics, the retailer recalled nine of its products. Justice Retail, another company whose target market is girls, recalled eight of their Just Shine cosmetics after asbestos was reportedly found in some of the brand's Shimmer Powder.
Last month, Claire's issued a statement asserting that tests done by two separate labs showed that the cosmetics were "asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements." Justice, however, reported that while one set of their tests found no asbestos, another one showed "trace amounts of asbestos."
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to open an investigation. He wrote a letter in which he says, "I urge FDA to thoroughly investigate the claims against Justice Retail and Claire's Stores, and to open a broader investigation into the presence of asbestos and other hazardous impurities in children's cosmetics."
Rep. Pallone, who is the highest-ranking Democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says that "so many people who buy cosmetics products just assume that they're safe and they're being regulated by the government," However, he says "the FDA has very little authority over cosmetics" and that government regulations regarding cosmetics haven't been updated since 1938. That's the year the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act gave the FDA its legal authority.
Certainly, using cosmetics and other products that contain small amounts of asbestos isn't the same as working around the dangerous material for decades, as many people have. However, consumers have a right to be assured that such materials aren't in products we put on our bodies. Anyone who believes that they or a loved one has suffered because of asbestos exposure, regardless of the source, it's wise to find out from an experienced Kentucky attorney what your legal options are.
Source: App.com, "Pallone: FDA should probe for asbestos in makeup sold at Claire's, Justice," David P. Willis, Feb. 02, 2018