Asbestos has been known to cause disease for nearly a century, but the carcinogen still finds its way into products of all types. In January of 2020, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested Princess Girl’s All-in-One Deluxe Makeup Kit and found that the eye shadow contained an average of 4 million asbestos fibers per gram. If you have the product at home, we recommend disposing of it immediately—and keeping the following in mind when shopping for children’s products.
Sailing Through Safety Loopholes
This isn’t the first product containing asbestos that’s made it to the market in the past few years, and it’s unlikely to be the last. By foregoing internal testing and hiding risks from users, manufacturers have repeatedly endangered consumers. The makeup kit in this case didn’t even need approval to be sold: The U.S. government doesn’t require companies to test cosmetics for harmful materials before taking them to market. This is true even for products aimed at children.
We Know Talc Is Dangerous
Asbestos is a combination of minerals that occurs naturally in rocks. Often, it exists beside or even within talc deposits. The link between the two has been documented often; aside from the recent wave of lawsuits filed by those who used Johnson & Johnson baby powder, consumer watchdogs have found asbestos contamination in:
- A number of cosmetics sold by Claire’s
- Beauty Plus makeup products
- Amscan, Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Saban’s Power Rangers Super Megaforce Crayons
Parents didn’t know they were bringing asbestos into their homes in these talc-based products. Independent groups were the ones to run tests and point out the dangers. Despite the likelihood that items made with talc could be contaminated, the government does not require companies to audit their use of the mineral. Children’s toys shouldn’t come with a risk of cancer—but right now, it’s hard to be sure they don’t.
Even Worse for Kids
Asbestos fibers are small enough to be inhaled and often become lodged in the lungs, leading to asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other cancers. They may be ingested and lodge in stomach or intestinal cells, or even make it into the bloodstream. All types of exposure come with a risk.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds that there is no safe amount of asbestos. That means one swipe of talc-based eyeshadow can put a child at risk for health problems for the rest of their life. The warning signs may not show up right away, especially if the dosage is small, but according to researchers, exposure over just a few days can cause disease later in life.
Risk factors for asbestos-related disease include the amount one is exposed to and the length and frequency of exposure. Each exposure increases the chance of ill side effects. However, there is another factor in calculating someone’s risk potential.
Mesothelioma and its ilk may take decades to appear, meaning a late-life exposure may not have time to inflict as much damage on a patient. When children inhale asbestos, their lungs may begin filling up with dangerous scar tissue early in life. The buildup over time can lead to diseases like asbestosis.
What Should I Do if My Child Was Exposed to Asbestos?
Because symptoms may take as long as 40 years to appear, those who have used contaminated talc-based products may not know where to go for immediate relief. Doctors recommend against conducting X-rays to check for abnormalities in children’s lungs. Furthermore, there is no way to remove inhaled asbestos particles. Some may naturally degrade over time, but others will be stuck in a patient’s lungs for life.
Doctors recommend the following preventative measures for those who have been exposed:
- Yearly flu vaccines
- The pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine
- Abstaining from smoking
- Removing sources of asbestos and limiting future exposure
Genetic factors and other lung conditions may change someone’s likelihood of developing asbestos-related health problems. Your doctor can discuss the details with you.
Spotting the Symptoms
Lodged in the lungs, asbestos fibers can affect the respiratory system and cause patients to experience:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Chest pain
- Tightness in chest
- “Crackling” sound linked to breaths
These symptoms are usually associated with asbestosis and are unlikely to occur at the time of exposure. Asbestos can also affect other parts of the body, causing:
- Pain in the abdomen/pelvis
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Make sure your doctor knows if you’ve been exposed to asbestos, as they can help you watch for potential symptoms.
We Take on Negligent Corporations
When asbestos makes it into your home through a contaminated product, Ashcraft & Gerel is on your side. Our experienced team has won over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Even if a company brings its entire legal department to fight us, we won’t back down. Our number 1 goal is to help you find justice.
Asbestos is extremely dangerous and can cause fatal diseases, including cancer. Companies have no excuse for exposing consumers to this substance. We trust products, especially toys, to be safe for use—and when that trust is breached, we see it as our duty to hold wrongdoers accountable.
Do you think you have an asbestos case? Reach Ashcraft & Gerel online or by phone: (800) 674-9725. We are waiting for your call.