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Teens, Tweens Retailer Recalls Makeup that Could Contain Asbestos

Imagine finding out that the makeup your teen daughter has been wearing could contain asbestos. This is exactly what happened to parents across the country when a popular chain retailer catering to girls recalled a cosmetic after a report alleged that the product contained asbestos, among other toxic substances. Per USA Today, “reporters at WTVD, an ABC-affiliated station in Durham, N.C., say they sent samples of a highlighter called Just Shine Shimmer Powder to a lab to see if it contained any non-listed ingredients. However, the station said its investigation turned up asbestos and a handful of toxic heavy metals.”

The retailer, known as Justice, says that upon receiving an inquiry about the powder product, it immediately began an investigation, and “out of an abundance of caution,” the company says it stopped the sale of the product in all of its stores and on its website. “Our suppliers are required to produce all products in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If any supplier fails to do so, it is our practice to hold them responsible. We cannot speculate regarding the matter while we investigate.”

In addition to asbestos, WTVD says the lab found barium, chromium, lead and selenium—all toxic heavy metals—in Justices’ Just Shine Shimmer Powder.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve cosmetics, although it does approve color additives used in cosmetics. The agency says, “it is the responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers to ensure, before marketing their products, that the products are safe when used as directed in their label or under customary conditions of use.” Many have called for the FDA to more strictly regulate the cosmetics industry in order to protect consumers from deadly substances such as asbestos.

Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. According to the American Cancer Society, this aggressive cancer can take between 20 and 50 years to develop between the time of first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of mesothelioma.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor immediately. Early detection increases treatment options, which could optimize outcomes.  



"FDA Basics - Are Cosmetics Approved by FDA?" U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 21 Dec. 2016. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.

Tulp, Sophia. "Retailer Justice Yanks Makeup That May Contain Asbestos." USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 18 July 2017. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.

"What Are the Risk Factors for Malignant Mesothelioma?" American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, Inc., 2017. Web. 20 Aug. 2017.