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RI law firm seeks end of self-regulation after asbestos found in Claire’s makeup

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered certain Claire’s makeup kits tested positive for asbestos, a Rhode Island law firm is advocating to end the self-regulation of cosmetic products.

The FDA began testing the makeup after a report from the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina, discovered several of the kits tested positive for asbestos in 2017.

Kristina Warner, who worked at a law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation, sent her daughter’s makeup to the Institute for testing, prompting the FDA investigation.

“It feels good to know that there’s somebody out there that genuinely cares about consumer safety,” Warner told Target 12.

During the initial testing, 17 samples of makeup from Claire’s stores in nine different states, including eye shadows, blushes, and compact powders, “all tested positive at alarming rates,” a letter from the Scientific Analytical Institute said.

At the time, Claire’s independently tested the products in question. The company said the testing proved the makeup was “asbestos free.”

When the FDA tested several of Claire’s makeup products, it was discovered that there are three products consumers should not purchase or use, including Claire’s Eye Shadows, Claire’s Compact Powder and Claire’s Contour Palette.

Claire’s is now refusing to recall the makeup, reiterating the prior testing of their products and the FDA can’t force the company to issue a recall. But the FDA did issue a strong warning about the products.

“I wasn’t surprised that the FDA’s own testing validated my testing,” Attorney John Deaton said. “The fact that they came out and they go at length to put the public on notice is a very positive thing and I’m very happy about it.”

Though Claire’s is not recalling the products, the company said it has removed the three products tested by the FDA from its stores as well as any talc-based cosmetics. The company also said it will honor any product returns.

“Despite our efforts to discuss these issues with the FDA, they insisted on moving forward with their release,” Claire’s said in a statement. “We are disappointed that the FDA has taken this step, and we will continue to work with them to demonstrate the safety of our products.”

Deaton said allowing companies to self-regulate products is not working.

“The cosmetic industry has been allowed to completely self-regulate,” he said. “When you think about the talc manufacturing process, it’s only pulled out of the ground and pulverized so if that ground has asbestos toom you’re going to get contamination.”

The FDA said it has not received any reports of anyone being sickened by the makeup at this time.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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