Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Does Your Teenager's Makeup Have Asbestos in It?

According to investigative journalists at ABC 11 in Durham, North Carolina, a popular powder makeup marketed to teens may contain asbestos and other harmful ingredients. The team sent "Just Shine Shimmer Powder," sold at Justice Stores, to the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, where samples of the makeup tested positive for four heavy metals, including asbestos.

"I would treat it like a deadly poison, because it is," Sean Fitzgerald, the Director of Research and Analytical Services told the station. "In this powder designed for children, they could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product."

Asbestos Accuracy

Following the news report, Justice pulled the products from the shelves and began its own investigation. The company responded to initial news regarding the product's contents with a statement claiming ABC's report is inaccurate and that the makeup is safe:

A third party ISO-certified testing lab concluded there is no asbestos in our Just Shine Shimmer Powder product. Reports suggesting that the product contains asbestos are simply inaccurate. As part of our investigation and out of abundance of caution we found it necessary to quickly provide answers to our customers about our product.

Customers were encouraged to contact the company directly with any questions.

Cosmetic Crisis

The FDA does not review or approve most cosmetic products and ingredients before they go on the market. However, cosmetics must be properly labeled and safe for use by consumers, and cosmetic companies have a legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products and ingredients. And the FDA bans the sale of cosmetic products containing asbestos.

As ABC 11 noted, their investigation began to see if there were any unlabeled ingredients in makeup products marketed to children. Along with asbestos, Scientific Analytical Institute allegedly also found Barium, Chromium, Lead, and Selenium in Justice's "Just Shine Shimmer Powder."

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