FDA Also Finds That Claire's Cosmetics Could Contain Asbestos

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Claire’s has had a wild couple of years. In 2017, the cosmetics and accessories chain recalled several glittery makeup pallets in response to reports that asbestos had been detected in some of these products. Then, in 2018, Claire’s filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now it’s 2019, and the Food and Drug Administration is on Claire’s case. The problem, again, is asbestos


ABC7 reports that on Tuesday the FDA issued a warning against using certain Claire’s products manufactured in 2017 and 2015, including eye shadows, compact powders, and contour palettes, all of which tested positive for tremolite asbestos.

Asbestos is natural (it’s a mineral) and often hangs out around talc, a common component of makeup, but it’s also a known carcinogen, so talc needs to be properly purified before it can be safely used. The FDA said it was not yet aware of anyone falling ill as a result of exposure to Claire’s products.

Claire’s take on all of this is that the FDA is woefully inaccurate, although it has stopped selling the plausibly compromised items. “Specifically,” says the company, “the FDA test reports have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers.”

And so we leave the fallen giant of assorted picayune mall expenditures still quibbling over fibers. Seems appropriate.


Stephan Zielinski

There’s no “could” about it. This is a DOES CONTAIN result:

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Susan Mayne, Ph.D., director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, on tests confirming a 2017 finding of asbestos contamination in certain cosmetic products and new steps that FDA is pursuing to improve cosmetics safety.

The FDA is today announcing the results of these tests. Those tests confirmed the presence of asbestos in three of the product samples collected from Claire’s and one of the product samples collected from Justice. All suspect Justice products, including the one testing positive for asbestos, were previously recalled from the market in 2017. The FDA issued a Safety Alert today warning consumers to not use three of Claire’s products: Claire’s Eye Shadows – Batch No/Lot No: 08/17; Claire’s Compact Powder – Batch No/Lot No: 07/15; and, Claire’s Contour Palette – Batch No/Lot No: 04/17 because they tested positive for asbestos.

(It’s the Safety Alert itself that identifies the asbestos as tremolite.)