A popular retail chain catering to girls, Justice, says it has stopped selling a cosmetic and is conducting an investigation after a televised report alleged the product contains toxic substances, including asbestos.
Reporters at WTVD, an ABC-affiliated station in Durham, N.C., say they sent samples of a highlighter called Just Shine Shimmer Powder to a lab to see if it contained any non-listed ingredients. However, the station said its investigation turned up asbestos and a handful of toxic heavy metals.
Exposure to asbestos, once commonly used for building insulation, has been found to lead to certain types of cancers and tumors on internal organs.
Since the investigation, the product has been pulled from shelves, Justice says. The FDA prohibits sale of contaminated makeup products, like those containing the talc with asbestos.
The chain, based in New Albany, Ohio, and part of Ascena Retail Group, has stores nationwide. While Justice officials could not be reached for comment, the chain posted a statement on Facebook.
“Upon receiving an inquiry about the Just Shine Shimmer Powder product … we immediately began an investigation and, out of an abundance of caution, stopped the sale of this product in our stores and on our website,” The statement read. “Our suppliers are required to produce all products in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. If any supplier fails to do so, it is our practice to hold them responsible. We cannot speculate regarding the matter while we investigate.”
In addition to asbestos, WTVD says the lab found four toxic heavy metals — barium, chromium, selenium, and lead — in Just Shine Shimmer Powder.
This is not the first time that makeup products have been alleged to contain some less-than-desirable ingredients. Lead has been found in lipsticks, and formaldehyde in nail polishes, eyelash glues and deodorants. Some have called for the FDA to more strictly regulate the cosmetic industry.