Friday, January 26, 2018

Claire's Disputes Claims of Asbestos in Products

Claire's disputes asbestos exposure from products

The popular retailer Claire's says it has completed additional testing on samples of its makeup and has not found any traces of asbestos.

Last December, Claire's took nine makeup products off their shelves after a case of possible asbestos exposure went public. Kristi Warner, a consumer who works at the Deaton Law Firm which specializes in asbestos litigation, sent several of the tween store's makeup kits to an independent lab in North Carolina for asbestos inspection. Warner says her background in asbestos testing made her concerned of the play makeup sets her daughter received as a gift.

The makeup sets tested positive for tremolite asbestos, a form of asbestos sometimes found in products containing talc. Asbestos exposure is linked to lung cancer and other chronic respiratory diseases.

After the initial positive results, Warner and her law firm purchase 17 more Claire makeup products from nine states and sent them for asbestos inspection and testing. North Carolina's Scientific Analytical Institute said it found tremolite asbestos in all of the samples.

Shortly after they were contacted with the findings, Claire's conducted testing of its own with a different independent lab. This lab said it did not find asbestos.

Sean Fitzgerald, director of the North Carolina Scientific Analytical Institute, claims that Claire's statement is misleading because Claire's did not test the original samples provided by Warner; instead, it appears Claire's tested other similar products in its stock.

"The original products in which I found asbestos are still in my lab, so there is no way they have looked at those because no one has asked me for them," Scott Fitzgerald, director of the North Carolina Scientific Analytical Institute, said in a recent press release.

Claire's rebuts these allegations, saying that it has tested products with the same SKU numbers as Fitzgerald.

"We are pleased to report that test results received to date from two certified independent labs confirm that the products in question are asbestos free, completely safe and meet all government requirements. Any report that suggests that the products are not safe is totally false," Claire's representatives said in a recent press statement. "We have made multiple requests for Mr. Fitzgerald's detailed test data, but it has not been provided to us."

"I have sent images of the asbestos fibers and a lab summary," Fitzgerald said in a recent press release.

Last year, Fitzgerald was involved in an asbestos suit against Colgate-Palmolive where his testimony was excluded because the judge deemed Fitzgerald's testing varied from accepted methodologies. Fitzgerald said that his testing methods have been accepted in other courts and every judge views testing methods differently.

Despite firmly standing by its statement, Claire's said it would honor returns from customers who are uncomfortable with the products. The company is unsure as to whether it will put the products back on shelves.

To read more about the Claire's asbestos pursuing, visit the original article. To learn more about asbestos certification and how to get involved in this expanding field, visit Zack Academy's asbestos homepage.

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