Pallone Urges FDA to Investigate Cosmetics Products Found to Contain Asbestos
U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. recently held a press conference calling for the Food and Drug Administration to investigate Claire’s Stores, Inc., and Justice Retail after it was reported that tremolite asbestos was discovered in its girls’ and young women’s cosmetics products.
Congressman Pallone, the ranking member of House Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on February 2 asking his agency to look further into asbestos being found in cosmetics that are marketed to young girls. The congressman cited FDA data from fiscal year 2016 that, of the 2.9 million lines of cosmetics products that came into the United States, only 9,871 were physically inspected, with 15% of the examined products reportedly having adverse findings.
“I recognize that because FDA focuses on inspecting products ‘with the potential for the greatest impact on public health,’ these results may not be representative of the true rate of problems with all cosmetics,” Congressman Pallone wrote to Commissioner Gottlieb. “Nevertheless, I firmly believe that any amount of contamination in cosmetics and personal care products is unacceptable.”
This is not the first time that Justice Retail was investigated. In June 2017, Congressman Pallone wrote a letter telling the company that an independent investigation found that its Just Shine Shimmer Powder contained asbestos, as well as heavy metals including lead, barium, chromium, and selenium.
This year, Congressman Pallone is pushing his committee to pass legislation that would require companies to register the ingredients used in their cosmetics to the FDA; make it compulsory, instead of voluntary, for companies to notify the FDA of any adverse effects from their products within a 15-day period; have the companies provide substantial proof that their products are safe and place labels alerting consumers these products may not be suitable for everyone and may be dangerous to girls and pregnant women; and allow the FDA to conduct safety reviews of the products and issue recall notices in the event the agency learns of a consumer suffering from a negative reaction to the product. He is also calling for the manufacturers to provide more than $20 million in user fees to fund the FDA’s work.
A products liability lawsuit can be brought against the manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor of a defective product. The danger in a product could be caused by a defect in the product’s design, the result of a flaw in the manufacturing process, a piece of equipment that might have been calibrated or adjusted properly, or the use of improper or substandard materials.
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