Posted on September 12th, 2019
Here we go again.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers to stop using four cosmetic products from Beauty Plus Global that tested positive for asbestos, a known carcinogen. This isn’t the first time asbestos has been found in Beauty Plus products, which are specifically targeted towards kids and tweens. The facts are irrefutable. There is no safe or controlled use of asbestos, yet imports and use continue.
The alert came after Beauty Plus, a Canada based make-up company with four factories in China, and another retailer – Claire’s Stores, Inc. – began voluntary recalls of several products that the FDA had been testing.
The recalled products include:
- Beauty Plus Global Inc. City Color Collection Matte Blush (Fuchsia), SKU #849136008807, Lot No. 1605020/PD-840
- Beauty Plus Global Inc. City Color Cosmetics Timeless Beauty Palette, SKU #849136012958, Lot No. 1510068/PD-C864R
- Beauty Plus Global Inc. City Color Bronzer (Sunset), SKU #849136016017, Lot No. 160634/PD-P712M
- Beauty Plus Global Inc. Beauty Plus Global Inc. City Color Shimmer Bronzer (Caramel), SKU #849136017106, Lot No. 1612112/PD-840
Each year, asbestos claims the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans who die from preventable asbestos-caused cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, and mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is also responsible for other non-malignant diseases such as asbestosis and pleural plaques.
For more than a century, asbestos has been known to cause disease and deaths. In 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reported “a third of the mesotheliomas occurring in the USA may be due to nonoccupational exposure.”
Unsealed documents suggest Johnson & Johnson feared asbestos, the primary cause of pleural mesothelioma, was in its talc—including its baby powder—as early as the 1970s. As of December 2018, it was reported that Johnson and Johnson was facing more than 9,000 lawsuits claiming talc-based baby powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
According to the Environmental Working Group, there are more than 2,000 products that contain talc on stores shelves throughout the nation.
This story goes beyond talc, though.
In 2018, U.S. PIRG revealed that Playskool crayons sold at Dollar Tree contained asbestos. Additionally in 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), found evidence of asbestos in a startling array of household products, including toys, window glazing, spackling paste, roof patch, and duct tape.
To this day, one of the largest contributing factors to asbestos exposure is a lack of public awareness of the carcinogen. ADAO’s experiences in education and advocacy, lead us to believe that most Americans do not have an accurate understanding of the threat asbestos poses to people’s everyday lives and falsely think that the U.S. has already banned the fiber. Nearly 70 other countries have banned asbestos, but in America it has killed more than one million people since 1989.
ADAO is proud of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, a bicameral bill that aims to ban asbestos, without loopholes or exemptions. With nearly 60 Members of Congress and 20 trade unions and organizations supporting this important legislation–a ban is just on the horizon.
While we work with Congress to ban asbestos, we applauded the FDA for their prompt action to protect consumers from deadly asbestos-contaminated products. By raising public awareness of product contamination and prompting recalls – both voluntary and mandatory – the FDA is helping consumers to make informed choices about their health and safety.