Claire’s, the much-beloved store from our childhood days as sassy pre-teens, is in hot water with parents. The mall staple of our youth has officially pulled at least nine makeup products off its shelves after reports of a possible asbestos contamination.
The decision was made after a mom named Kristi Warner in Barrington, Rhode Island sent her six year old daughter’s new makeup kit for testing over concerns about its ingredients. The results were nothing short of terrifying, revealing high levels of tremolite asbestos, which, in extreme cases, can cause lung damage and cancer, including mesothelioma — a very aggressive form of the disease.
Warner, who works for a RI law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation, had just finished learning about the dangers of asbestos and talc and what to look for in products when had the kit tested. When high levels of the mineral were found, the independent testing agency bought 17 kits from cities around the country to be tested. Of those, 24 talc-based products from each of the 17 kits all tested posted.
“There were high levels of asbestos in the first color of eye shadow, so I tested three other colors and found it again,” Scott Fitzgerald of the Scientific Analytical Institute told CNN. “Then the firm and I had friends and relatives across the country go out and buy that aqua-colored kit and some others and send those to me for testing.”
The story echoes a similar one from this summer, in which Justice makeup products were also found to contain asbestos.
Claire’s responded to the controversy with an initial statement released just before Christmas, saying, “the safety of our customers is of paramount importance, and we are passionate about the safety and integrity of our products. We work closely with our vendors to ensure our products are tested and assessed in line with the relevant country regulations and guidelines.”
The company voluntarily recalled the products in question and proceeded with an independent internal investigation before releasing a second statement on December 29th.
“The initial results of testing by an independent certified laboratory show that the cosmetics tested to date are asbestos free,” the updated statement read. “Out of an abundance of caution, additional testing is underway. We have also confirmed that the talcum ingredient supply is from a certified asbestos-free European vendor. We will continue to honor returns for any customers remaining uncomfortable.”
If you’re worried that your child may be in possession of one of the possibly contaminated makeup kits, the full list can be found on the Claire’s website. The company is offering a full refund for anyone who brings a kit into their local Claire’s store.
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(Photos via David McNew/Getty)