FDA finds asbestos in three Claire’s cosmetics products

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called on Congress to modernize rules for cosmetics safety on Tuesday after it issued an alert warning consumers not to use three cosmetics products sold by Claire’s Stores Inc because they tested positive for asbestos, a known carcinogen.

FILE PHOTO – A Claire’s store is pictured in the Newport Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S. September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandra Rafferty

The FDA said it would work with Congress to update the regulatory framework that the agency has been operating under for more than 80 years for cosmetics. It said there are currently no legal requirements for any cosmetic manufacturer selling goods to American consumers to test their products for safety.

In its safety alert, the FDA identified the products as Claire’s eye shadows, contour palette and compact powder and cited the talc used in the products.

Claire’s disputed the FDA test results, saying they “show significant errors” and have “mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos.”

The retailer, which emerged from bankruptcy in October, said, “There is no evidence that any products sold by Claire’s are unsafe.” However, out of an abundance of caution, it said it removed the three products in question from stores as well as “any remaining talc based cosmetic products.”

The FDA has come under intensifying pressure from lawmakers and consumer advocates to investigate possible asbestos contamination of talc following a report published by Reuters on Dec. 14 about talc in Johnson & Johnson powders. The Reuters report detailed that J&J knew that the talc in its raw and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos from the 1970s into the early 2000s. J&J did not disclose its test results to regulators or consumers.

The alleged presence of asbestos in talc products is at issue in thousands of lawsuits filed against J&J. Last month, J&J said it had received federal subpoenas for the first time related to the asbestos litigation and said it is cooperating with the inquiries.

J&J and its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, have said numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown their talc to be safe and asbestos-free.

In response to the FDA’s call on Tuesday for new rules, J&J said it supports the agency’s efforts to “reaffirm the safety of cosmetic talc products.” The company said it has backed previous legislative efforts to modernize FDA’s regulatory authority over cosmetics.

J&J also reiterated Tuesday that “for decades global independent laboratories and health authorities have tested Johnson’s Baby Powder and have never found asbestos.”

In 2009, the FDA hired an outside lab to test 34 samples of cosmetic talc powders, including a bottle of J&J’s baby powder, as well as raw talc. No asbestos was detected when the results came back a year later.

“SHIFT THE SAFETY PARADIGM”

The FDA on Tuesday said it would investigate cosmetics manufacturers’ sources for talc and what steps they take to test the raw material or their finished products. The agency did not name specific companies.

“We also want to know how many cosmetics products contain talc and whether manufacturers have received adverse event reports associated with talc-containing products,” the FDA said.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who separately announced his resignation, and the director of the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Susan Mayne, said federal rules have not keep pace with the cosmetic industry’s substantial growth and a global supply chain.

“To significantly shift the safety paradigm of cosmetics in the U.S., we would need to work with stakeholders, including Congress, to modernize the outdated regulatory framework that the FDA has been operating under for more than 80 years when it comes to cosmetics,” they said in the statement.

The FDA said the new rules for cosmetics manufacturers may require companies to report adverse events, provide access to consumer complaints during routine inspections and disclose known allergens on a product’s label.

In the meantime, U.S. regulators are asking cosmetics firms to voluntarily register their products and a list of ingredients, including talc, with the FDA.

Asbestos is a mineral often found near talc, a common ingredient in many cosmetics, and if steps are not taken to purify raw talc sufficiently the talc put in consumer products may be contaminated with asbestos, the FDA said.

Talc may be used in cosmetics, for example, to prevent caking or to make facial makeup opaque.

In 2017, the FDA said it became aware of reports of asbestos contamination in several cosmetics sold by Claire’s and another retailer, Justice, which is owned by Ascena Retail Group Inc. The two retailers subsequently removed certain products, such as glitter creams, eye shadows and make-up sets.

The FDA then ordered independent tests and the results received in late February confirmed asbestos in three Claire’s products and one from Justice. The Justice product had already been recalled from the market.

In a statement on Tuesday, Justice said it “quickly and responsibly issued a voluntary recall in 2017 out of an abundance of caution.”

The FDA said Claire’s had refused to comply with its request to recall the products that tested positive for asbestos. The FDA said it does not have the authority to mandate a recall, so it issued the safety alert.

FILE PHOTO – A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

The United States Public Interest Research Group last May reported the health and safety regulator for the Netherlands ordered Claire’s to remove several makeup products from Dutch shops after a study by U.S. PIRG showed contamination with asbestos.

Claire’s in March 2018, in a statement, questioned the accuracy of asbestos testing by Dutch authorities. It said its own testing at independent laboratories in the European Union and the United States labs found that Claire’s products were “compliant with all relevant cosmetic safety regulations.”

Claire’s, based in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates, operated 2,471 stores in North America and Europe as of August 2018.

Reporting by Chad Terhune; Additional reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; editing Leslie Adler and Bill Berkrot

Source

more recommended stories

  • FDA finds ‘significant violations’ at India’s Strides plant

    (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and.

  • U.N. wants more urgency in AIDS fight as gains and funding fade

    LONDON (Reuters) – The global fight.

  • Oklahoma seeks to hold J&J responsible for opioid crisis as trial ends

    NORMAN, Okla. (Reuters) – Lawyers for.

  • Healthy living may help offset genetic risk of dementia: study

    LONDON (Reuters) – Living healthily with.

  • Democrats take aim as Trump abandons drug pricing plan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats see U.S..

  • U.S. appeals court blocks Trump administration birth control exemptions

    (Reuters) – A federal appeals court.

  • China vows to tackle dead pig scam amid swine fever epidemic

    FILE PHOTO: Piglets are seen by.

  • Alberta joins Ontario in pulling some CannTrust weed products

    TORONTO (Reuters) – Alberta is placing.

  • Trump administration pushes U.S. at-home kidney care, transplant availability

    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump.

  • U.S. appeals court signals sympathy to bid to strike down Obamacare

    NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – A federal.

  • U.S. judge strikes down Trump administration rule requiring drug prices in TV ads

    (Reuters) – A federal judge on.

  • Intra-Cellular drug fails one of two bipolar depression studies; shares fall

    (Reuters) – Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc said.

  • China reports new African swine fever outbreak in Guangxi region

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s southwestern region.

  • Weed ban means no Rocky Mountain high for Canada’s Calgary Stampede

    CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada’s Calgary.

  • Weightlifting better at reducing heart fat than aerobic exercise

    Obese people who engaged in resistance.

  • Sydney’s city council reviews use of Bayer’s Roundup weed killer amid cancer fears

    SYDNEY (Reuters) – Sydney’s city council.

  • Bulgaria confirms two cases of African swine fever

    SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria has confirmed.

  • FDA approves Karyopharm Therapeutics’ blood cancer drug

    (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and.

  • Facebook to tackle content with misleading health claims

    FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is.

  • FDA ties three deaths to Edwards Lifesciences’ recalled heart devices

    (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and.

  • India asks its states not to partner with Philip Morris-funded foundation

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s health.

  • U.S. federal court delays adoption of healthcare rule on abortion

    FILE PHOTO – A imaging table.

  • China tightens vaccine management after scandals

    FILE PHOTO – A nurse prepares.

  • U.S wages lost to unpaid family care to hit $147 billion by 2050

    As the U.S. population ages, the.

  • U.S. ‘gag rule’ linked to 40% jump in abortions in parts of Africa

    LONDON (Reuters) – A decades-old U.S..

  • Study shows major real-world impact of cervical cancer vaccines

    LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – Vaccination.

  • Glyphosate use will eventually end, Merkel says

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a.

  • Unproven stem cell therapies often peddled by doctors without training

    At U.S. clinics advertising unproven stem.

  • Teleflex recalls breathing tubes worldwide after reports of 4 deaths

    (Reuters) – Teleflex Inc said on.

  • In border camps, Syrians rely on doctors in trucks and tents

    AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – The Syrian.

  • Thailand bans pig imports from Laos after African swine fever outbreak

    BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand will ban.

  • FDA approves drug for loss of sexual desire in women

    (Reuters) – The U.S. drug regulator.