The word fashion is incomplete without cosmetics and makeup products. Women use makeup products to enhance their beauty, for social acceptance or to look confident. No matter what the reason is cosmetics or makeup are at the top list requirement of many. However, like many other things makeup does contain some of the harmful even cancerous substance in their formula. One of these is asbestos with cancer causing harms.
Potential harmful aspects
Asbestos is a mineral, and it is usually present in many products of personal use. It’s a naturally occurring silicate mineral with carcinogenic effects. It’s exposure may results in pleural thickening, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is aggressive form of lung cancer. When inhaled or swallowed by a person, microscopic asbestos fibers attach themselves in the lining of vital organs such as lungs or heart. Moreover, heavy exposure leads to inflammation and scarring by these fibers. Eventually over the course of time, the risks of cancer development increase.
How it gets in products?
The formulation of cosmetics are sometime not regulated well. Consequently, it ends up as harmful chemical substances in these products. Asbestos in cosmetics can be present in or as talcum powder.
Asbestos give silky and soft texture. Furthermore, it dilutes the pigmented cosmetics and serves as filler. Moreover, it gives the ‘setting’ texture to foundations by absorption of extra moisture content. This is why most compact powder products are used for oily skin to reduce the oily appearance. Due to its properties it is usually a a part of blushes, finishing powders, foundations and eye shadows. Cosmetic companies may or may not purposely add asbestos in their product. But the problem arises due to poor regulation and checkups.
Asbestos label on cosmetic products may use these tags:
- Cosmetic talc
- Magnesium silicate
The US Food and Drug administration aims to limit the use of asbestos in cosmetics yet it is easy to say than done. For almost a decade, the FDA has performed research and lab testing to find the asbestos contamination in cosmetics and its potential side effects.
‘‘When it comes to regulate cosmetic’s formulations, the food and drug administration does not have the authority to do much for consumer protection as it works with 75 years old law which has never been substantially updated.’’ Says Margie Kelly-the spokesman of campaign for safe cosmetics.
Asbestos in cosmetics
In December 2017, lab analysis by Scientific Analystic Institute (SAI) confirmed the presence of asbestos in cosmetic products by Claire’s and later on in products by Justice. Both brands are retailer and manufacturer of many cosmetics products for personal use by young and women. Cosmetics sample from nine different states were collected and analyzed for many harmful chemicals in these. The results proved the presence of asbestos in these products:
- Mint Glitter Makeup Set
- Badazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set
- Pink Glitter Cellphoen Makeuo Set
- Matellic Hot Pink 48 Pieces Glitter Set
- Ultimate Meda Makeup Set
- Rainbow Glitter Heart Shaped Makeup Kit
Not only was this but in 2015, asbestos identified in crayons for children. In March 2018, Public Interest Research Group again conducted reassert on four of Clair’s cosmetics. Out of four, three were containing dangerous levels of asbestos. These are:
- Claire’s Compact Powder
- Highlight Finishing Kit
- And Claire’s Contour Pellet
On the other hand, cosmetic items from NYX, L’Oreal and cover girl were free of asbestos contamination. On the other hand, low levels of this mineral has been detected in some eye shade pellets of Just Shine cosmetic. Fortunately, by the end of 2018, some of the products were taken off the shelves.
In response to the harmful chemicals in cosmetics and even in children product, Debbie Dingell- US Rep. filed a bill on 7th February 2018 to ban the asbestos usage in these products. This bill will not only limit the use of asbestos and but also require that the manufacturers use a warning label on each makeup product.
Cosmetic brands with asbestos free products
The cosmetics of these few brands have been declared talc free after lab analysis:
- Honest Beauty
- Ecco Bella
- Bare Minerals
- Shea Moisture
- Smash Box
Also, it mainly depends on consumers to protect them from asbestos exposure by avoiding the use of those products with this carcinogen in them. It is recommended to read the labels carefully to avoid exposure. According to lab analysis and researchers, it’s level of less than equal to 1% in a cosmetic product is safe to use and this product is considered as asbestos free.
FDA aims to ensure the safety of cosmetic products by limiting the use of harmful substance such as asbestos. It also has asked the makeup manufacturer to submit their products voluntarily for lab analysis. Also some research organizations are carrying out detailed analysis of harmful substances in cosmetics. These are:
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Food And Drug Administration
- Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Mine Safety And Health Administration
- Occupational Safety And Health Administration
FDA has declared that cosmetic products of many brands including Claire’s contain asbestos or talc. The mineral is injurious to health and carcinogenic. The health authorities and organizations aim to ban or at least limit the use of harmful substances in makeup.
On the other hand, this is also the responsibility of the users to be fully are of what they are using. And the potential side effects of these products. In fact, the short term exposure is not as much harmful but long-term exposure is. Moreover, wearing too much makeup in daily routine is itself detrimental to skin and may cause serious skin infections. So it’s good to be aware and acknowledged to have a safe and healthy beauty.