Claire's Scare Revives Concerns About Asbestos-Tainted Kids' Cosmetics
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
Another retailer of cosmetics aimed at girls, Claire's, faces allegations of asbestos-contaminated makeup products, less than six months after tweens-focused Justice came under similar fire. Both retailers say their own independent testing showed products in question to be asbestos-free, but the PR damage may be done.
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The Environmental Working Group and Scientific Analytical Institute say inadequate testing of talc-containing personal-care products is to blame for findings of asbestos in cosmetics, including three of 21 powder-based cosmetics SAI analyzed at EWG’s request. They continue to push for updated testing standards that include electron microscopy as a core component.
The FDA is focused on driving adoption of more sensitive, standardized testing methods for assessing cosmetic talc purity, which it believes would yield more consistent results across labs. This would help to inform research into the health implications of trace levels of asbestos and other elongate mineral particles in talc; in the interim it could to be damaging to companies that supply or use that talc.
The Personal Care Products Council says talc-testing methods in the cosmetics industry must distinguish between carcinogenic asbestos and harmless non-asbestiform minerals, recalling its position against the FDA’s stab at rulemaking in 1973. However, the FDA is now arguing that elongate mineral particles of respirable dimensions are inherently dangerous, regardless of other considerations.