As we've previously discussed on this blog, before the health risks of exposure to asbestos were known (and in many cases even after), the mineral was widely used in everything from building materials to roof insulation to break pads to sand pit filler... and now apparently, even make-up.
A lab in North Carolina, USA, recently found trace amounts of tremolite asbestos in a Claire’s (A chain of accessory stores) make-up product aimed at young girls. Although never used commercially, tremolite asbestos is often found in talc, a key component in many make-up products.
The tremolite was discovered when a local mother decided to send a sample of her daughter’s make-up into a local lab to see what was in it. What was meant to be a fun indulgence of curiosity took a dark turn when the results showed asbestos was present in the make-up.
Claire's initially pulled nine of its cosmetic products as a precautionary measure; however, after conducting its own testing with two different labs, Claire’s has released a statement refuting the claim their make-up products ever contained traces of the deadly mineral.
The statement issued by Claire’s said “We are pleased to report that test results received to date from two certified independent labs confirm that the products in question are asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements”
A spokesman for Claire’s also added “Any report that suggests that the products are not safe is totally false”.
Despite Claire’s claims, the lab that conducted the initial testing that found the asbestos is standing by their results, asserting that asbestos was found in a variety of Claire’s make-up products and questioning the validity of the tests conducted by Claire's.
This isn’t the first time asbestos has been allegedly found in make-up. Mid last year American chain store, Justice, stopped selling its ‘Shine Shimmer Powder’ after an investigation revealed it contained asbestos.
Given that asbestos can lead to serious health problems, the presence of the mineral in make-up products is particularly concerning. Here is hoping this latest incident is the last time the mineral is found in cosmetics products.