Claire's pulls cosmetics and tests for harmful substances

Photo (c) Mike Mozart - Flickr

Move follows report of asbestos found in certain makeup products

Cosmetics and accessories retailer Claire’s has withdrawn more than a dozen products from its inventory pending an investigation of their makeup ingredients.

The move follows a Providence, R.I. TV news report that a mother discovered her daughter’s makeup from Claire’s contained asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen. The mother, who works as a law clerk in a firm that specializes in asbestos litigation, decided to send off her six year-old's makeup kit to be tested. She said the results came back, showing the product contained asbestos.

The company first acknowledged it was looking into the report over the weekend, when it posted the information on Twitter.

"As a result of today's inquiry from WJAR-TV, we have taken the precautionary measure of pulling the items in question from sale, and will be conducting an immediate investigation into the alleged issues," the company wrote. "Once we have the results of the investigation, we will take the necessary action."

WJAR-TV now reports that Claire's has retained the services of an independent laboratory to test a number of products. Until the results come in, Claire's said it has suspended sales of the products in question and is providing refunds to customers who purchased them.

ConsumerAffairs reached out to Claire's for additional comment but has not yet received a reply.

Other cases

Questionable ingredients in cosmetics is not new–in August environmental health researchers at George Washington University (GW) cautioned women to be aware of the chemical composition of the beauty products they're using.

In a commentary published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, they said many beauty products contain toxic materials that, even with small amounts of exposure, can lead to health problems.

They also say minority women tend to have higher levels of beauty-product-related chemicals in their bodies compared to white women.

That same month, two environmental groups sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), charging the agency allows hair products with "unsafe levels of formaldehyde" to remain on the market.

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