Retail company Claire's has pulled as much as 17 cosmetics products off shelves after a parent discovered that they contained asbestos, the exposure to which could bring harmful effects to the body.
Kristi Warner, the parent in question, purchased a makeup kit for her 6-year-old from a store in Rhode Island. Fearing about the safety of the product, she sent it to an independent lab to be tested. Her heart sank when she got the results: there was, indeed, tremolite asbestos in the makeup kit, a toxic material that can cause cancer.
"I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home," said Warner.
While the product Warner had purchased came from a store inside a mall in Rhode Island, the family claims it's not an isolated case but a nationwide concern.
Effects Of Asbestos Exposure
Exposure to asbestos is tremendously dangerous. In fact, it's been linked to a type of cancer called mesothelioma, which develops from the thin layer of tissue called mesothelium that covers many of our internal organs. According to a paper published in the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 80 percent of all cases are caused by exposure to asbestos. It is 100 percent fatal.
Upon learning about presence of asbestos in her makeup kit, the child asked her mother, "Am I going to die?"
"There's no right answer to that because I don't want to lie to her," said Warner.
Other Claire's Products Had Asbestos, Too
But for Warner, testing just the one makeup kit she bought wasn't enough. She wanted to be sure that the other cosmetic products were safe. Also, she was concerned about the possibility of other families repeating her mistake — buying the makeup kit without being aware that it contained deadly material. So, she and her boss, John Deaton, purchased 17 more products from various states and sent them to the lab for testing.
The results were astounding.
There was tremolite asbestos in every single product, said the Scientific Analytical Institute's Sean Fitzgerald, the scientist who conducted the tests.
Warner is concerned that other children might have been exposed to asbestos, seeing as how the products tested remained on shelves until she took them for testing. One can only imagine the repercussions of such a possibility.
In response, Claire's pulled all the products in question from retail shelves and has promised that it will begin an investigation into the "alleged" claims.