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Study finds asbestos in Claire's makeup products marketed to teens

CBS News logo CBS News 3/13/2018

NEW YORK -- Tests performed by a consumer watchdog group found asbestos in three products marketed to children by the makeup company Claire's, several weeks after the company pulled products from shelves following customer complaints. 

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), a non-profit group, says it commissioned tests of 15 makeup products containing talc from an "accredited laboratory," including four from Claire's. Three of the Claire's products were found to contain "high levels of asbestos," the group said. Talc is a material commonly found in makeup products and can be contaminated with asbestos, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In a statement, Claire's told CBS News it "categorically denies" the test results, calling the laboratory's methods "obsolete and unreliable." The company said it has conducted its own "extensive testing" and found "that Claire's products are asbestos-free and comply with all relevant safety regulations." PIRG said it stands by the testing procedure.

The company added: "All our powder-based cosmetics use the same base formulation, utilizing Merck certified asbestos-free talc, which is the same talc used in other well-known cosmetic brands."

In December, Claire's pulled several items marketed to children from store shelves after independent lab tests found evidence of asbestos contamination. The company later said that initial tests of its own detected no asbestos in the products.

PIRG's president Faye Park joined CBSN to discuss the group's findings. Watch the interview in the video player above.

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