James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. represents people injured by asbestos exposure. Over the years, asbestos has been used in thousands of products. Many of these uses are well known, such as pipe and boiler insulation, gaskets and packing material, automobile brakes, floor tiles, and shingles, but some of them might surprise you, such as items marketed for children.
On Friday, July 14, 2017, a television station in North Carolina reported that a makeup sold to young girls and teens by Justice, a national retail chain, had been found to contain asbestos, as well as traces of four heavy metals, lead, chromium, barium, and selenium. Justice, formerly known as Limited, Too, is a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Tests conducted by Scientific Analytical Institute, a private lab in Greensboro, North Carolina, confirmed the presence of asbestos and lead in samples of “Just Shine Shimmer Powder.” According to WTVD-TV News, which had the makeup tested, “Just Shine Baked Blush” and “Just Shine Simmer Bronzing Powder” were not found to contain asbestos.
The asbestos found in “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” appears to have been a contaminant of talcum powder used in the product. This item is manufactured in China, where talc products are tested for asbestos less frequently than in the United States. Asbestos is a toxic material which can cause various diseases, including asbestosis (a scarring of the lungs), lung cancer and mesothelioma ( a rare cancer which usually develops in the lining of the lungs or abdominal cavity).
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that asbestos has been found in talcum products marketed to children. At one time, asbestos was found in some modeling clay. More recently, in 2015, contaminated talc was found in certain brands of crayons made in China. Several retailers, including Party City and Toys “R” Us, stopped selling these brands after learning that they contained asbestos fibers. At about the same time, children’s finger print kits were also removed from shelves because of asbestos contamination. Asbestos contamination in talcum products manufactured in China will remain a potential concern until the Chinese start testing their items more diligently.