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Dingell, Schakowsky Act to Keep Children’s Cosmetics Safe

Lawmakers Introduce Bill After Asbestos Found in Cosmetics Marketed to Children at Claire’s

Washington, DC, March 18, 2019

 – In an effort to keep children safe from toxins, Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) today introduced legislation mandating that all cosmetics marketed to children are demonstrated to be free of asbestos or otherwise carry a warning label. 

Accessories retailer Claire’s recalled three products that tested positive for asbestos by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Even small levels of asbestos exposure over many years can cause diseases like lung cancer and mesothelioma. 

“Parents should have the peace of mind in knowing that the cosmetics their children use are safe. Yet once again, asbestos was found in products – including glitter and eyeshadow– being marketed and sold to children by the popular retailer Claire’s,” said Dingell. “No child should be exposed to asbestos through the use of common, everyday products. That is why I introduced the Children’s Product Warning Label Act so all cosmetics marketed to children to contain proper warning labels alerting parents of dangerous toxins.”

“Most Americans are shocked to realize that cosmetics and personal care products are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market. Yet the average American uses about ten of them every day and is exposed to about 126 unique chemicals from these products. This includes countless products marketed towards and used by children,” said Schakowsky. “I will continue to fight for full disclosure of the many chemicals in our products, including dangerous carcinogens like asbestos. That’s why I’m proud to join my friend Representative Dingell to introduce the Children’s Product Warning Label Act. This bill is an important step towards eliminating toxic beauty and personal care products and giving the Food and Drug Administration the authority it needs to keep Americans safe.”

The Children’s Product Warning Label Act requires all cosmetics marketed to children to contain a warning label that the product has not been evaluated for asbestos contamination unless the manufacturer of the product attests in writing to the HHS Secretary that the source is an asbestos free-mine, and that they demonstrate to FDA that the product is asbestos-free using the transmission electron microscopy method. 

“Every year, up to 15,000 Americans die from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos. Companies have known for decades about the presence of asbestos in talc. But, there are still more than 2,000 products being sold today contain talc —  including more than 1,000 fine or pressed powders that could be inhaled — and no requirements to test for asbestos or to warn consumers of the risk. Thanks to the leadership of Reps. Debbie Dingell and Jan Schakowsky, consumers may finally know whether or not they are using an everyday product that may contain this deadly carcinogen. Congress should not wait to enact this critical legislation, and to modernize how the FDA reviews and regulates chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics and other personal care products,” said Scott Faber, Senior Vice President of the Environmental Working Group.

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