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After asbestos found in kids' makeup, Claire's pulls it from shelves

Posted at 3:12 AM, Dec 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-24 03:12:10-05

PROVIDENCE, RI (WJAR/CNN) - A popular retailer among children and pre-teens is pulling 17 products from shelves over asbestos concerns. Lab tests found the cancer-causing substance in makeup sold at Claire’s stores.

As a mom, Kristi Warner was concerned about the ingredients in her 6-year-daughter’s glitter makeup kit purchased at Claire’s. So Warner, who works at a law firm, 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 children’s product would be safe,” said Warner, whose daughter, McKenzie, often shopped at Claire’s.

A few weeks ago, Warner received a heartbreaking phone call.

It turned out that McKenzie’s makeup wasn’t safe. Test results revealed tremolite asbestos, a toxic, cancer-causing material. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma.

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

Concerned that other kids might be exposed, Wagner and her boss, John Deaton, purchased 17 more Claire’s makeup products from different states.

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

The results weren’t good. Scientific Analytical Institute researcher Sean Fitzgerald, who conducted the tests, said he was shocked by how pervasive the results were. He said there was tremolite asbestos in every product.

Warner said her worst fears were confirmed.

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

Friday afternoon, Claire’s issued a response: “As a result of today’s inquiry from WJAR, 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.”

Copyright 2017 WJAR via CNN. All rights reserved.