Cosmetics Marketed Toward Teens Recalled After Testing Positive for Asbestos, Again

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For Immediate Release: 
Friday, June 7, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has once again found talc-based cosmetics marketed to teens contain asbestos.

On Thursday, the FDA announced a voluntary recall and warned consumers not to use two products: Claire’s JoJo Siwa Makeup Set and Beauty Plus Global Effects Palette 2, both made with talc.

It’s the third time in less than two years that FDA tests have found asbestos in kids’ cosmetics.

Geologically, talc and asbestos can be formed from the same parent rock. In many regions, talc deposits are contaminated with asbestos fibers. There is no safe level of exposure to any type of asbestos fiber, which can lodge deep in the lungs and cause mesothelioma or other fatal diseases decades after exposure.

A bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders are pushing sweeping cosmetics reform legislation that could go a long way toward fixing this problem

The proposals – authored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) – will, among other things, give the FDA new power to ensure that products are free from dangerous substances like asbestos.

Additionally, Rep. Dingell has introduced a separate bill that would require warning labels on cosmetics that could contain asbestos and are marketed to children.

“Whether you are a construction worker or teenager, inhaling even the smallest amount of asbestos can cause cancer later in life,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Congress should act swiftly to ensure that cosmetics are free from dangerous chemicals and contaminants.”

In March, the House held an oversight hearing looking into asbestos-contaminated cosmetics following earlier FDA tests that found asbestos in three talc-based cosmetics products sold by Claire’s. Faber testified before the committee, warning that there are thousands of talc-based personal care products that could be contaminated with asbestos.

“EWG found more than 2,100 products that contain talc as an ingredient in our database of more than 26,000 personal care products. Of these, about 1,200 are loose or pressed powders that could pose a risk of being inhaled,” testified Faber.

Asbestos is one of the most dangerous substances on Earth. From federal mortality data, EWG Action Fund estimated that up to 15,000 Americans die each year from asbestos-triggered diseases, including mesothelioma.

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The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.