Claire's Recalls 3 Makeup Products After FDA Asbestos Warning

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that tests have found asbestos in three types of cosmetics made by Claire's, which has disputed the findings and claims there were errors in the testing.

The FDA warned consumers in a safety alert against using Claire's eye shadows, compact powder and contour palette because they tested positive for asbestos in independent tests conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and AMA Analytical Services.

The FDA has warned consumers against using three makeup products from Claire's after tests found they contained asbestos. Getty Images

The company has since recalled the three cosmetic products in question, as confirmed by both the company and the FDA.

UPDATE: Claire’s issues voluntary recall of 3 cosmetic products: Claire’s Eye Shadows, Claire’s Compact Powder & Claire’s Contour Palette. FDA previously issued a safety alert to warn consumers not to use these products due to asbestos contamination.

— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) March 12, 2019

The law doesn’t require cosmetic products to be registered with the FDA, so the agency issued its warning to consumers because it doesn't have the legal authority to force Claire's to recall the products in question.

"The FDA requested that Claire’s recall the products because they should not be used by consumers,'' the agency said in a statement. "Claire’s has refused to comply with the FDA’s request, and the agency does not have authority to mandate a recall. The FDA is therefore warning consumers not to use these products and will continue to communicate our safety concerns about them."

The fashion accessories retailer and mall staple for tweens has decided to remove the three products from stores "out of an abundance of caution," as well as "any remaining talc-based cosmetic products,'' the company said in a statement.

At Claire’s, customer safety is paramount, and we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest quality and safest products. We wish to address today's FDA warning that three cosmetic items sold by Claire’s may have been contaminated with asbestos.

— Claire's (@claires) March 6, 2019

"There is no evidence that any products sold by Claire's are unsafe,'' the company said in its statement. "The recent test results the FDA have shared with us show significant errors. Specifically, the FDA test reports have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers.

"Despite our efforts to discuss these issues with the FDA, they insisted on moving forward with their release."

Claire's told TODAY in a statement that it has pulled all remaining talc-based products and destroyed all talc-based inventory. It also is offering customers a refund on any talc-based products it has sold.

The FDA's decision to test Claire's products was triggered by reports in 2017 of asbestos being found in Claire's makeup line. The company pulled 17 products from stores after the mother of a 6-year-old girl in Rhode Island sent her daughter's makeup to a laboratory, which found traces of potentially cancer-causing tremolite asbestos.

The FDA then conducted its own independent tests and found asbestos in the three products as well as one sold by the retailer Justice that had already been recalled in 2017.

"The FDA is confident in the scientific validity of the testing results provided by two, separate third-party labs,'' an FDA spokesman told TODAY. "These labs are well-respected by not only the FDA, but by those involved in the broad topic of asbestos nationwide.

"In this case, it provided significant reassurances to the FDA when results from various tests conducted at the two, different labs aligned. In addition, the FDA’s foremost subject matter experts in this area reviewed and confirmed that all the results are supportable and valid. The bottom line is that because of the health risks posed by asbestos, which are well-documented by other government agencies, it was the FDA’s responsibility to promptly share these findings with American consumers and warn them about their potential public health threat."

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