Five talc-based cosmetics sold by tween manufacturer Claire’s and Beauty Plus Global Inc. were manufactured in China and not Taiwan, as previously reported, the country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.
Tainan’s Public Health Bureau conducted an investigation into the Taiwanese company that allegedly produced the cosmetics. That company said it had commissioned a Chinese company to produce four of the products and denied producing the fifth product. The company also said that China has different standards for its products than Europe or the United States and that the raw materials used in the cosmetics that tested positive for asbestos in the U.S. had passed China inspections.
Tainan health officials said production of the cosmetics stopped in 2017, but it was likely the cosmetics are still being sold and that the tainted products were mainly sold to U.S. and European distributors.
Tainan’s FDA asked the Public Health Bureau to conduct tests on an additional 12 products at the plant. Under the country’s Cosmetic Hygiene and Safety Act, if asbestos is found, the company faces fines of up to $161,000 and suspension of up to one year or having its operating license revoked.
Asbestos is a mineral mined from the earth in a similar fashion and proximity to talc. Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of internal organs.
In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the public that testing on five cosmetics sold by Claire’s Stores as well as Beauty Plus Global tested positive for asbestos. The testing stemmed from a 2017 announcement by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which said it had tested several talc-containing products sold by tween retailers Claire’s and Justice and found several to contain asbestos.