Tween clothing store Justice, formerly known as Limited Too, is under fire as an investigation has uncovered asbestos in its makeup. WTVD, an ABC affiliate in Durham, North Carolina, worked with the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro to test samples of the store’s makeup and their results found that “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” contains four heavy metals, barium, chromium, lead, and selenium, as well as asbestos, according to Buzzfeed News.
“I would treat it like a deadly poison, because it is,” Sean Fitzgerald, the director of research and analytical services at the institute said of the product, which is marketed to children and teenagers.
Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and extended exposure to inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to terminal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.
“In this powder designed for children, they could die an untimely death in their thirties or forties because of the exposure to asbestos in this product,” Fitzgerald said.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution it was tremolite asbestos fibers that were found in the cosmetic.
“Fibers like this get into your breathing zone, and when you inhale, these fibers can get into the lung and go to the very bottom of the lung and that is exactly where you have the greatest likelihood of asbestos to cause disease,” Fitzgerald said. “Children should not be allowed to breathe it. If a 10-year-old inhaled this fiber today, when he’s 50 years old, it’s still there.”
The asbestos fibers were found in the talc used in the powder, which is a common ingredient in cosmetics. Talc has been in the news frequently over the past year and a half with allegations that it is a carcinogen.
Four juries have held Johnson and Johnson liable for ovarian cancer developed by women who used the company’s talc-based products for feminine hygiene, with verdicts totaling more than $300 million. Women are demanding that products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower be removed from the shelves or at the very least contain warning labels informing of the ovarian cancer risk.
It is important to note that asbestos-free talc has been linked to ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene only. Its presence and safety in cosmetics is a different issue altogether.
Buzzfeed reports that in a statement to WTVD, Justice said that it was immediately beginning an independent investigation and stopping sale of the shimmer powder “out of an abundance of caution.” On the store’s website “Just Shine Shimmer Powder” is “out of stock” and the product is labeled “do not sell.”
Atlanta Journal Constitution