Take Action to Ban the Use of Asbestos in Makeup

For several years Care2 has been working to ban the use of animal testing in the creation of cosmetics. Now there’s another reason to be scared about the contents of makeup produced in the U.S.

Kristie Warner, a resident of Barrington, Rhode Island, purchased a glittery makeup kit for her six-year-old daughter McKenzie from Claire’s Accessories, but she grew concerned about what might be in those cosmetics. So she decided to send a sample to the Scientific Analytical Institute in North Carolina.

She was devastated when she received the result indicating that the cosmetics (created for kids) contained asbestos, well known as a highly toxic mineral linked to cancer.

“I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home,” Warner told WJAR. “You just assume a children’s product would be safe.”

Deeply concerned that children’s lives were being put in danger, Warner purchased 17 different Claire’s products from nine states and sent them in for testing. The Institute reported that each product tested positive for tremolite asbestos, which has been linked to mesothelioma and other types of cancer.

How is this possible? It turns out that in spite of the many known health risks of asbestos, the U.S. does not ban its use in cosmetics.

When the Care2 team discovered this, they created a petition, demanding that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban the use of asbestos in cosmetics. As of writing, over 55,000 Care2 activists have already signed the petition.

Thankfully, national retailer Claire’s Accessories has recalled nine makeup products after Warner sounded the alarm. But the Care2 petition points out a more basic problem:

“While it is against the law to use any ingredient in a cosmetic that makes the product harmful to consumers when used as directed, asbestos is not specifically included in the list of ingredients prohibited from use in cosmetics.”

The picture is very different in other countries.

Over the past two decades the E.U. has restricted or banned around 1,400 harmful chemicals and other ingredients from personal care products, while in Canada the number is about 600. In the U.S. just 30 potentially harmful ingredients have been banned.

All minerals in the asbestos group have been known as dangerous for some time, ever since it was revealed after a series of court cases, that asbestos causes cancer and chronic inflammation and lung scarring, as well as serious long term breathing issues.

So how does it end up in makeup?

The connection is through talc; It’s one of the world’s softest minerals and is used widely in cosmetics because it makes products feel softer and absorbs moisture well. But the problem is that the mineral deposits containing talc are often interwoven with asbestos fibers, so when talc is mined, it can be contaminated with asbestos.

And guess what? In spite of numerous lawsuits, the talc industry is not subject to any regulations.

It seems especially egregious that our children’s lives should be put in danger by unscrupulous manufacturers. Since the FDA under the Trump administration is unlikely to initiate any changes voluntarily, other than those that favor big corporations, it’s important that Katie Warner sought out the truth about the makeup she was buying for her daughter.

Now this petition is important to follow up on Warner’s actions and persuade the FDA to take action.

If you agree, please sign our Care2 petition demanding that the FDA recognize the dangerous effects of asbestos by banning its use in cosmetic products.

Photo Credit: thinkstock

74 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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JT Smith
Past Member 6 months ago

People would be so much better off if thet'd completely skip wearing makeup in the first place. Not wearing it saves both time and money. And if someone is attracted to you because of your makeup, it means that they're attracted to the chemical mask you're wearing rather than you. All you need is soap and water.

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Angela K
Angela K6 months ago

Petition already signed

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Danii P
Past Member 6 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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heather g
heather g6 months ago

It's difficult to understand why corporations deliberately harm people.

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Richard B
Past Member 6 months ago

Done. Thank you

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Emma Z
Emma L6 months ago

signed

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Teresa A
Teresa Antela6 months ago

Petition already signed and shared.

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Leanne K
Leanne K6 months ago

I cant believe they put asbestos in makeup! Criminal that its in childrens makeup

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Paulo R
Paulo R6 months ago

Signed. ty

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