We have all heard the proverb, “all that glitters is not gold,” but in the recent case involving pre-teen accessories boutique Claire’s Store, all that sparkles might actually be asbestos. In late December there was a recall which led to almost ten items being pulled from the shelves. All of the compromised products were reported to have traces of the fibrous mineral present. From glitter palettes to bedazzled makeup sets, the cosmetics were marketed almost exclusively to young children. Many families had to learn the hard way that just because something is labeled as a product for kids, doesn’t mean it is safe.
Although there are federal and consumer protection agencies in place to help catch unsafe products before they land in customer’s hands, resources can only go so far. After researchers at the government-licensed Scientific Analytical Institute examined the tainted products, their findings revealed traces of a talc ingredient that contained asbestos in the cosmetics.
Exposure to asbestos, even the smallest amount can lead to deadly diseases triggered by inhaling the lethal fibers. Mesothelioma is a lethal form of cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart due to the exposure to asbestos. The disease is sporadic in children and young adults as symptoms often don’t appear until decades later.
Reluctant to believe the findings of the SAI, Claire’s launched a series of investigations using two independent labs and the results came back listing the items as asbestos-free and completely safe. As a parent or caregiver of a child, you act as a gateway to their health. Next time your child wants to light up the room like an 80’s disco ball, think twice before dousing them with glitter. Labels can be deceiving; you may not know the damage this seemingly innocent sparking compact can inflict.