Consumer Advocate: Claire's pulls children's makeup after family finds asbestos

Claire's is pulling 17 products off store shelves after a Rhode Island family discovered asbestos in their 6-year-old daughter's makeup. (WJAR)

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WJAR) — Claire's is pulling 17 products off store shelves after a family in Barrington, Rhode Island discovered asbestos in their 6-year-old daughter's makeup.

The make-up was purchased at a store in the Providence Place Mall, but the family warns this is a nationwide concern.

It was just a few weeks ago when Kristi Warner received the heartbreaking phone call.

"I physically sank,” said Warner. “I ended up sitting on the ground, just trying to wrap my head around how something like that could end up in our home.”

Warner had been concerned about the ingredients in her 6-year-old daughter Mackenzie's glitter makeup kit, purchased at Claire's inside Providence Place. The Barrington mom, who works for Deaton Law Firm in East Providence, mailed the makeup to an independent lab in North Carolina.

“In the work that we do, we've come across contaminated cosmetics, but you just assume that a children's product would be safe,” said Warner.

Warner said Mackenzie's makeup wasn't.

Test results revealed tremolite asbestos, which is a toxic, cancer-causing material.

Exposure to asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma, which is fatal.

“Her response was, ‘Am I going to die?” said Warner. “There's no right answer to that because I don't want to lie to her.”

Concerned that other children might be exposed, Kristi and her boss John Deaton purchased 17 more Claire makeup products from nine different states.

“This is unusual, so let's get multiple jurisdictions, multiple states, multiple products and let's see how that results,” said Deaton.

The results weren't good.

Sean Fitzgerald of Scientific Analytical Institute, the scientist who conducted the tests, told NBC 10 he was shocked by how pervasive the results were. He found tremolite asbestos in every single product.

“The fact that the majority of the products came from the store shelves in the last two weeks means that there are other children being exposed,” said Warner.

Claire's issued a response Friday afternoon.

"As a result of today's inquiry from WJAR-TV, we have taken the precautionary measure of pulling the items in question from sale, and will be conducting an immediate investigation into the alleged issues," the statement noted.

The products are being pulled from stores, but it's important to make sure this makeup isn't already in your home.

Attached are pictures of all 17 products that tested positive for tremolite asbestos.

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