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Claire's removes three cosmetic products from stores over asbestos alert

PUBLISHED: 13:58 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:58 06 March 2019

Claire's has removed items due to an asbestos alert. Picture: Thomas Chapman.

Claire's has removed items due to an asbestos alert. Picture: Thomas Chapman.

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Accessories chain Claire's has removed three cosmetic products from its stores after warnings they could be contaminated with asbestos fibres.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), based in the US, warned customers not to use the products after samples tested positive for tremolite asbestos.

In a statement, Claire’s said it had removed the three products identified by the FDA from its stores “out of an abundance of caution” and had also removed any remaining talc-based cosmetics, adding that there was no evidence that any items it sold were unsafe.

The products are Claire’s Eye Shadows (batch no/lot no: 08/17), Claire’s Compact Powder (batch no/lot no: 07/15), and Claire’s Contour Palette (batch no/lot no: 04/17).

The business, which is popular with girls and young women, has stores in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Ipswich, Colchester and Clacton.

The FDA said the testing followed reports of contaminated cosmetics marketed by Claire’s and a second US retailer, Justice.

It added that it was not aware of any adverse reactions associated with exposure to the products. The FDA does not have the authority to force a recall, and so issued the safety alert.

Claire’s Europe said in a statement: “At Claire’s, customer safety is paramount, and we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the highest quality and safest products. We assure customers that our products are safe.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have removed the three products identified by the FDA from our stores, and are also removing any remaining talc-based cosmetic products. We will honour returns of any Claire’s talc-based cosmetics.

“There is no evidence that any products sold by Claire’s are unsafe. In early 2018, the three items identified by the FDA were extensively tested by multiple independent accredited laboratories, and all products were found to be compliant with all relevant cosmetic safety regulations.”

It said the FDA’s test results had “significant errors” and “mischaracterised fibres in the products as asbestos”.

Claire’s said: “Despite our efforts to discuss these issues with the FDA, they insisted on moving forward with their release. We are disappointed that the FDA has taken this step, and we will continue to work with them to demonstrate the safety of our products.”

The FDA advised that the mineral asbestos is often found near talc, a common ingredient in many cosmetics.

If raw talc is not sufficiently purified before it being put in consumer products, they could be contaminated with asbestos, it said.

Talc is used in cosmetics to prevent caking or to make facial make-up opaque.

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