A global chain store for children and teens headquartered outside of Chicago sold (and may still sell) asbestos-contaminated makeup in 4,000 stores in over 35 countries. In America, 96% of all retail malls feature a Claire’s store. Claire’s has known about the asbestos fibers found in certain makeup products sold through its stores since 2017 but has steadfastly denied their existence.

As of March, 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning not to use certain Claire’s cosmetic products due to asbestos fiber contamination. The FDA does not traditionally test cosmetics; however, the Claire’s asbestos scandal prompted national outrage. The FDA stepped in and conducted its own testing.

Claire’s pulls products in an abundance of caution

In a media statement, Claire’s claimed it had pulled targeted makeup items from store shelves in an abundance of caution, even though the company flatly denied any of Claire’s makeup products contained asbestos fibers. Growing pressure by consumers and parents whose children had used the allegedly tainted products may have forced Claire’s to act. Independent lab analyses proved beyond any doubt that Claire’s makeup contained asbestos fiber contamination. Claire’s flatly stated that several independent laboratories, including additional testing that revealed asbestos fibers in Claire’s products by the FDA, were wrong.

In an abundance of irony, Claire’s itself, in 2017, was the first to report finding asbestos fibers in its children’s makeup line. Claire’s almost immediately retracted their statement leak and denied any asbestos involvement. The global corporation did nothing to stop production or remove the asbestos-tainted products from store shelves.

The dangers of asbestos

Asbestos contamination is highly dangerous; small fibers become embedded in any item they contact. Asbestos fibers are a long-recognized carcinogen.

Blue-collar workers who used asbestos-infused insulation materials in homes built from 1930 through 1950, breathed in the fibers. Decades later, many of these workers came down with a very specific form of cancer called mesothelioma definitively linked to asbestos exposure.

People whose skin came in contact with asbestos-laced products developed skin cancers. While most mesothelioma cancers occur in people exposed to asbestos without protection over long periods, there are rare instances where very limited or even a single exposure can cause cancer.

Mesothelioma cancer

A thin layer of mesothelium is tissue that covers most of a person’s internal organs. Malignant mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers enter the mesothelium, disrupting the body’s DNA. The cancer is extremely aggressive and usually fatal. Symptoms depend on the location of the fibers. Any worker exposed to asbestos even 50 years ago may want to obtain a medical examination for this form of cancer.

Any person who has had any form of contact with asbestos resulting in mesothelioma, whether through industrial or product use, can contact a mesothelioma litigator for more information about pursuing compensation for their injuries.