FDA Confirms Asbestos in Makeup Sold at Claire's

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Because asbestos used to be a common building material, it's usually found in ceiling tiles, insulation, siding, and roof shingles. However, it also turns up in other products (like crayons and talc-based makeup) from time to time, and cosmetics sold by retail chain Claire's are the latest ones affected.

As CNN reports, the FDA declared three of Claire's products—eyeshadow, compact powder, and contour palettes—unsafe for use. The products are believed to no longer be available for purchase, but customers who have bought these products in the past are urged to stop using them immediately. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, among other diseases and ailments.

Reports of asbestos in cosmetics sold by Claire's and teen clothing retailer Justice initially surfaced in 2017. At the time, the products were voluntarily recalled by the companies, both of which market their jewelry, accessories, and makeup products towards children. The FDA followed up with its own independent tests, and the results came back in late February. Those tests confirmed the presence of asbestos in three Claire's products and one Justice product.

Justice stopped selling the affected product in 2017, but Claire's "has refused to comply with the FDA’s request" to issue a recall, according to the agency. However, Claire's said in a statement that it has removed the products from store shelves. At the same time, the company, which declared bankruptcy in March 2018, contests the FDA's test results and argues that they contain factual errors. "Specifically, the FDA test reports have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers," Claire's said in a statement.

Still, some are questioning why issues like these go undetected for so long. By the FDA's own admission, it's partly due to a lack of oversight. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which governs the sale of cosmetic products, hasn't been updated since it was enacted in 1938. "The current law does not require cosmetics to be reviewed and approved by the FDA prior to being sold to American consumers," the FDA states. It says it is now taking "new steps" to protect consumers by urging cosmetics companies to register their products with the FDA and list the ingredients they contain. This move would not be mandatory.

[h/t CNN]

7 Quick Tips for Disinfecting Your Home the Smart Way

Frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas can reduce the spread of illness in your home.
Frequent cleaning of high-traffic areas can reduce the spread of illness in your home.
BrianAJackson/iStock via Getty Images

With many people spending more time—or virtually all of their time—indoors, it’s natural for thoughts to turn to how to best clean surfaces that might help minimize the risk of spreading illness. Although researchers believe respiratory droplets are the primary way coronavirus is transmitted, preliminary data, which is not yet peer-reviewed, suggests the virus may remain on some surfaces for hours or days.

While scrubbing isn't a complex process, there are nonetheless some areas of your home you might be neglecting. Here’s how to best approach a household scrub, as well as identify and disinfect some common germ hot spots.

1. Pay attention to high-touch surfaces and clean them frequently.

High-touch surfaces are exactly what they sound like: Areas in the home that get handled and touched regularly. Think doorknobs, light switches, appliance handles, toilet handles, faucets, and remotes. And don’t forget laptops, keyboards, desks, and phones.

2. Don't just do a quick wipe down. Get the entire surface.

Taking a disinfecting wipe to the keyhole of a doorknob isn’t going to do you much good—it's important to really scrub all high-touch surfaces. Make sure you get every available surface area, including the plate behind the knob where fingers and hands often brush against it. When cleaning remotes, make sure you don't just scrub the buttons, but the space between them as well.

3. You can use soap and water.

While products claiming to kill 99.9 percent of germs are best in this scenario, there's another option if you're having a hard time tracking down those supplies—simply mix some dish soap in water. It won’t kill organisms, but it can remove them from the surface. (And while soap and water can work for high-touch surfaces throughout the home, you shouldn't use the solution on electronics like your remote or keyboard.)

If you’re looking to kill germs, diluted bleach (four teaspoons to one quart of water) and 70 percent alcohol solutions work well. But it's important to note that bleach and other cleaners can harm certain surfaces. So be sure to do your research and make sure the product you're using won't cause any damage before you start scrubbing.

4. Take laundry precautions.

If you’re trying to be extra-vigilant about the spread of germs in the house, you should consider washing clothes at the highest possible temperature and disinfecting laundry bins. It’s also advisable to use disposable laundry bags.

5. Remove your shoes before entering the house.

This step is more preventative, but it’s a simple way to keep from tracking in contaminants. Remove your shoes before going inside and leave them near the door. It's also a good idea to clean floor surfaces with disinfecting mop cloths, but be sure anything you use is safe for the finished surface. Cleaners like bleach can discolor certain materials.

6. Don't forget to clean your car.

Even people vigilant about cleaning their home can neglect their car interior. Since you’re constantly touching virtually every surface, be sure to wipe everything down regularly, including the steering wheel and door handles. If you have a leather interior, there are auto wipes available for those surfaces. And before you go wipe down any touchscreens, be sure to check your owner’s manual to see if they require any special microfiber cloth.

7. Give your debit cards a wipe.

It’s a good idea to disinfect credit or debit cards that follow you around on shopping excursions. As with all high-touch objects, be sure to wipe them down every day.

[h/t New York Times]

The World Health Organization Is Releasing a COVID-19 App to Combat Coronavirus Misinformation

WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
WHO MyHealth is meant to help clear up misinformation surrounding the novel coronavirus.
MangoStar_Studio/iStock via Getty Images

As is the case with most crises, the novel coronavirus has become a breeding ground for misinformation. Because the disease is so new, there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding it, but that hasn't stopped people from claiming to know how to treat, prevent, and detect COVID-19. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching an app dedicated to sharing what we know and don't know about the virus, 9to5Google reports.

Named WHO MyHealth, the new app is a collaboration between former Google and Microsoft employees, WHO advisors and ambassadors, and other tech and health experts. Users will be able to compare their symptoms with those linked to COVID-19 and receive public health updates specific to their location. As of now, there are plans to invite people who have been either been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 to share their phone's location history to give experts a better idea of how the virus spreads.

WHO MyHealth, which is currently being built as open source, is set to roll out for Android and iOS on Monday, March 30. If you have questions about COVID-19 you need answered immediately, you can also access accurate and up-to-date information through the WHO's chatbot.

Any information regarding novel coronavirus should be met with skepticism when it can't be traced back to organizations like the WHO or the CDC—especially when it comes to supposed cures. No specific medication has been proven to treat or prevent COVID-19, so you shouldn't take advice from anyone claiming otherwise.

[h/t 9to5Google]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER