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Government Watering Down Of Consumer Protection Laws Inadequate As Asbestos
In Children’s Products Sold in UK

Once again Talcum Powder is outed as a source of asbestos!

The Tory Government slashed health & safety legislation pertaining to products bought for the home and for our children, claiming there was enough protection already in the consumer protection laws; during it’s Red Tape Campaign launch in 2010.

Now, in 2018, following warnings at the time from the Health & Safety community that the government were taking risks with the health & safety of consumers, including children; one of the greatest risks to adults and children’s health – asbestos – has been found in Claire’s Accessories, a company that sells make-up for children!

This month, a report released by a US analyst has confirmed the presence of tremolite asbestos in children’s products sold at a London suburb outlet of Claire’s Accessories; a US makeup and jewellery chain targeting children and young teenagers.

Tremolite is an amphibole variety of asbestos. Although exposure to all types of asbestos fiber can cause a variety of cancers and debilitating diseases, amphiboles are widely regarded to be amongst the most toxic!

Asbestos is not purposefully added to cosmetics. However, asbestos can occur naturally in talc, and talc is commonly added to cosmetics. Sparkly, shimmery, and powdery makeup often contains talc as a major ingredient.

Inhaling or ingesting any form of asbestos can lead to serious health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. Repeated topical exposure to asbestos may also result in increased skin cancer risk.

The products concerned were purchased in April 2018 and shipped to the US for analysis.

The Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (the Forum) and the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) are seriously concerned about these findings.

Graham Dring, the Chair of the Forum, was categorical:

“Having been aware of the asbestos contamination of products sold under the Claire’s brand in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, the Forum was apprehensive that some of Claire’s products on sale in the UK might also pose a health hazard.

Working with our partners at IBAS we took steps to obtain suitable samples and analyses of the products. We are all extremely distressed to learn of the presence of tremolite asbestos in some of these items and will be communicating the full report to the British authorities.”

The analysis of the samples purchased on April 8, 2018 at the Claire’s outlet was undertaken by Sean Fitzgerald, director of research and legal services at the Scientific Analytical Institute – a laboratory based in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Mr. Fitzgerald is an expert in testing consumer products for asbestos and in 2017 was the first person to identify the asbestos present in a Claire’s glitter make-up kit.

Subsequent testing he undertook on other Claire’s products found asbestos contamination in 24 talc-based makeup items, including eye shadows, blushes and compact powders.

Explaining the results he obtained from the UK samples (full report:, Mr. Fitzgerald said:

“I prepared eight individual samples from four of the kits sent to me, in which I confirmed the presence of tremolite asbestos in half of them. These sub-samples were taken from three of the four kits.

Here's the breakdown:

1. Claire's Natural Eye Eyeshadow: 3 tests, no asbestos detected.
2. Claire's Blusher: one test - contains tremolite asbestos.
3. Claire's “Unicorn Powder” eyeshadow: one test - contains tremolite asbestos.
4. Claire's Eyeshadows: three tests - 2 out of 3 positive for tremolite asbestos.”

Commenting on these findings, IBAS Coordinator Laurie Kazan-Allen said:

“There is no doubt in my mind that the use of these products could pose a serious health risk. I believe that the authorities must act immediately on the potential threat to the intended users of these products: children and young teenagers.

Pic: click to download In Your Face asbestos reportI would like to see product recalls, public health warnings and investigations of the composition of the talc-based products sold by Claire’s not only in the UK but in other countries.”

The US agency responsible for the safety of the American public, The FDA, is currently performing an investigation into the presence of asbestos in Claire’s makeup. The agency, however, has been slow to act or to publish the findings of its investigation.

Furthermore, in an example of why people are concerned about the UK beign forced to accept American Safety standartds as part of any UK/US trade deal, the FDA intiailly stated that Claire's Accessories make-up was safe and free from asbestos!In the meantime, European agencies have acted swiftly to protect their citizens, yet at the time of publishing this report, no word has been heard from the UK government or it's agencies on this matter.    

AS a result, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund (PIRG) decided to do its own asbestos testing at an accredited laboratory. PIRG’s independent lab tested over a dozen makeup products that contained talc from a variety of stores and brands, including children’s and teen’s products as well as adult’s products, and found three products containing asbestos currently sold by Claire's retail company.

You can download the full report from the US PIRG web site direct from the unionsafety E-Library Database or by clicking on the pic above.

Source: Asbestos Forum / IBAS

See also:

Update 30 July 2019: Asbestos-contaminated talc has found its way into personal hygiene products, crayons, toys and cosmetics marketed to parents and children. ... The U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed the asbestos test results in 2019, but the FDA has limited authority to regulate the safety of cosmetics.

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