WASHINGTON, D.C. — On June 6, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Claire’s Stores, along with another cosmetic product retailer, voluntarily recalled makeup that contained low amounts of asbestos. The June 6 recall was the second recall in three months initiated by Claire’s Stores after the FDA found low amounts of asbestos in a makeup product. Claire’s initially disputed the FDA’s conclusion but finally relented and issued a recall after warning customers that they should stop using the makeup manufactured with asbestos according to a report from CBS News. The World Health Organization has decried the use of any asbestos in any product because the substance is a known carcinogen that causes several types of cancer.
When the FDA identified three of Claire’s makeup products as bearing low amounts of asbestos, the company rebuffed those allegations. Claire’s argued that the agency misinterpreted findings that some fibers found during routine testing were asbestos fibers. Claire’s expressed an intent to discuss the FDA’s findings with the agency. Notwithstanding, the FDA asked the company to recall the products. The FDA has no authority to compel a recall legally. Therefore, the FDA formally demanded that Claire’s recall the cosmetics suspected to contain asbestos. Also, the FDA issued a consumer alert calling attention to its findings.
Despite their disapproval of the FDA’s findings, Claire’s started to remove the potentially contaminated products from their stores and advised customers that they should stop using the products. Ultimately, Claire’s recalled Claire’s Eye Shadow bearing Batch/Lot Number 8/17, Claire’s Compact Powder with Batch/Lot Number 7/15, and Claire’s Contour Palette identified as Batch/Lot Number 4/17.
Neither the FDA nor Claire’s reported any illnesses or injuries associated with this recall. Claire’s previously stated that they are no longer manufacturing makeup containing talc. Johnson & Johnson are litigating several lawsuits at this time alleging the talcum powder can cause cancer because of asbestos in talc. Johnson & Johnson deny those claims.
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