Claire’s Recalls Various Cosmetic Products Due to Possible Asbestos Contamination

By Margaret Wollensak, The Epoch Times
April 2, 2019 Updated: April 5, 2019

Health Canada issued a recall for three of Claire’s cosmetic products after testing showed possible asbestos contamination, following the same recall in the United States last month.

Health Canada issued the recall on April 2 after tests indicated the possible presence of asbestos fibres in product samples from one lot each of Claire’s contour palette, Claire’s eyeshadows, and Claire’s compact powder.

The recall covers

  • Claire’s contour palette, UPC #888711401947, SKU #40194, Lot No. 04/17
Health Canada issued a recall on April 3, 2019 for Claire's Contour Palette due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)
Health Canada issued a recall on April 2, 2019 for Claire’s contour palette due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)
  • Claire’s compact powder, UPC #888711839153, SKU #83915, Lot No. 07/15
Health Canada issued a recall on April 3, 2019 for Claire's Compact Powder due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)
Health Canada issued a recall on April 2, 2019, for Claire’s compact powder due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)
  • Claire’s eyeshadows, UPC #888711847165, SKU #84716, Lot No. 08/17
Health Canada issued a recall on April 3, 2019 for Claire's Eyeshadows due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)
Health Canada issued a recall on April 2, 2019, for Claire’s Eyeshadows due to possible asbestos contamination. (Health Canada)

The UPCs and SKUs can be found on the price tickets on the products, and all batch numbers are shown on the back panels below the ingredient list.

Approximately 4,880 units of the affected product were sold in Canada from October 2016 to March 2019. The products were manufactured in China.

Health Canada says consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cosmetics and return them to a Claire’s store for a full refund. Consumers could also contact Claire’s by phone or visit their website for more information.

The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) issued an alert on March 5 warning consumers not to use those same three Claire’s cosmetic products because they tested positive for asbestos, citing the talc used in the products.

Asbestos, a known carcinogen, is the generic name for six naturally occurring minerals often found near talc, which is used as an ingredient in many cosmetic products. All forms of asbestos have been shown to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Raw asbestos on display in Caligny, France, on June 21, 2012. Asbestos is known carcinogen, and Health Canada considers anything more than <0.1% to be more than a trace amount of asbestos. (Charly Triballeau/AFP/GettyImages)
Raw asbestos on display in Caligny, France, on June 21, 2012. Asbestos is known carcinogen, and Health Canada considers anything equal to or above 0.1% to be more than a trace amount of asbestos. (Charly Triballeau/AFP/GettyImages)

The FDA sampled and had tested the three cosmetic products following reports of contaminated cosmetics marketed by Claire’s.

On March 12, Claire’s Stores Inc. announced in the United States its voluntary recall of the three cosmetic products that tested positive for asbestos during FDA testing, and that it had removed the products from its stores in the United States.

The FDA says it is not aware of any adverse reactions associated with exposure to the products. Health Canada says that as of March 26, 2019, Claire’s has received no reports of incidents in Canada.

On Wednesday, Claire’s issued the following statement: “On March 11, out of an abundance of caution, we recalled all three of the Claire’s cosmetics that are now listed in the Health Canada alert. All of Claire’s cosmetics are now talc-free, and we have confidence in their safety and composition. We are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada to ensure regulators and our customers share that confidence.”

These recent recalls in the United States and Canada follow an investigation by the FDA conducted after 2017 reports of asbestos in Claire’s cosmetic products.

Claire’s pulled 17 products off store shelves in the United States at the end of 2017 as a precaution after WJAR reported a family had discovered asbestos in their daughter’s Claire’s makeup. Claire’s announced in January 2018 that test results from two independent labs showed that the products in question were compliant with relevant cosmetic regulations and met all government requirements.

The FDA announced the results of their investigation on March 5, saying the Claire’s eye shadows, compact powder, and contour palette had all tested positive for asbestos. The agency says that they initially asked Claire’s to recall the products, but Claire’s refused to comply with the request, so the FDA warned consumers not to use the products. Claire’s later initiated a voluntary recall.

Despite the rapid expansion of the cosmetics industry in the past few decades, the laws of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act have not been updated since 1938. There are currently no legal requirement for any cosmetic manufacturer marketing products to U.S. consumers to test their products for safety, nor do they have to register with the FDA or have their products reviewed and approved before being sold to consumers.

The FDA has asked cosmetic companies to voluntarily register their products and list ingredients with the agency. The FDA also said they will be looking into how talc is sourced and used in the cosmetics industry.

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