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Dangerous Kids' Makeup Must Carry Warnings, New Proposal Requires

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, has introduced legislation that would ensure all cosmetics marketed to children are proven asbestos-free, or else they must carry warning labels.

The proposal follows reports from late last year about cancer-producing asbestos being discovered in some makeup sold by Claire's. The retailer recalled the products, and later said its own tests showed them to be safe. 

“Parents across the country should have the peace of mind in knowing that the cosmetics they buy for their children are safe. Yet we were all stunned when the retailer Claire’s pulled ... products from their shelves after asbestos was found in cosmetics marketed to children, including glitter and eye shadow,” Dingell said in a news release.  

“No child should be exposed to asbestos through the use of common, everyday products."

The Children’s Product Warning Label Act of 2018 would require all makeup marketed to children to contain a warning label that the product may contain asbestos, unless the manufacturer has attested in writing to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services that the source is an asbestos-free mine, according to Dingell's office. The manufacturer would also have to demonstrate that the product is asbestos-free using a transmission electron microscopy method. 

In December, Claire's voluntarily recalled nine cosmetic products after a Rhode Island TV  station aired a story about a law firm's tests of some of the retailer's products. The report said the tests found asbestos.

On Jan. 4, Claire's issued a statement that said tests from two independent labs confirmed the company's earlier tests that the products are "asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements." 

"Any report that suggests that the products are not safe is totally false," the statement said.

Representatives from Claire's did not immediately return messages left Wednesday.