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Pallone Raises Concerns After Asbestos Found in Cosmetics Marketed to Kids and Teens

Aug 7, 2017
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to Justice Retail today raising a series of questions regarding reports that one of the company’s cosmetic products marketed to kids and teens, Just Shine Shimmer Powder, contained high levels of the known human carcinogen asbestos in addition to toxic heavy metals including lead.  The letter comes days after Pallone released a letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlining troubling statistics on the safety of imported cosmetic products. 

“Given the recent reports of possible contamination of this product, I am concerned about the possibility that some of your other products may have been tainted with these dangerous materials,” Pallone wrote to Justice Retail.  “Therefore, I would like you to provide some additional information that will be helpful in better understanding how exactly Justice Retail is responding to this troubling issue.”

News of contamination of Justice Retail products were first reported last month after an independent investigation allegedly found toxic levels of contaminants in the company’s products.  The findings are especially troubling as Justice Retail’s target market is girls ages six to 12.  Justice Retail has subsequently pulled Just Shine Shimmer Powder from its shelves.

To better understand the troubling issue, Pallone requested that Justice Retail provide the Committee with additional information including:

  • Copies of any reports that Justice Retail received from independent testing labs concerning Just Shine Shimmer Powder;
  • Further information regarding  whether it is possible for some batches of a cosmetic product to be contaminated but others to show no signs of such impurities;
  • Any information on the number of adverse events reported to FDA and the number of consumer complaints reported to Justice Retail associated with Just Shine Shimmer Powder or any other cosmetic or personal care product sold by Justice Retail;
  • The source and origin of the Just Shine Shimmer Powder ingredients.  The company’s 10K form states that it purchases “a significant portion” of merchandise directly from foreign markets and indirectly through domestic vendors with foreign sources;
  • A thorough description of any steps taken to ensure Justice Retail’s products contain only appropriately sourced ingredients, including talc; and,
  • An overview of the tests Justice Retail conducts prior to releasing cosmetic and personal care products to the public in order to ensure that consumers are not at risk of exposure to hazardous materials.

A copy of Pallone’s letter to Justice Retail is available here.

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