As a parent, we want not only the best for our children but we also want to shield them from every danger there is in the world. As much as possible, we want to protect them from pesticides, herbicides, GMOs in food, toxic vaccines, and dangerous medications – just about anything toxic and dangerous to health in the environment.

But sometimes, something still manages to avoid our watchful eyes and becomes a nightmare situation like in this mother’s story.

Kristi Warner works at a law firm in the U.S. that specializes in asbestos litigation – primarily cases of asbestos exposure and the damage it causes to our health. For those of you who are not familiar with the dangers of asbestos, it was banned in most countries some time ago because of recorded cases of poisoning. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, unfortunately, it can generate lung problems because the fibers stay in the lungs for an indefinite period of time and are difficult to take out.

The problem occurred when Kristi bought a glittery makeup kit for her six-year-old daughter from popular accessories retailer Claire’s. After some time, she began to suspect that the glittery child’s kit may contain dangerous components for her child. She, therefore, sent the makeup kit to an independent lab for analysis.

The results of the lab analysis were highly astonishing. The lab found traces of the cancer-causing tremolite asbestos in her child’s make-up kit. This substance has been reported to cause malignant mesothelioma, a form of cancer that attacks the cells of the mesothelium, a thin membrane that lines the abdominal and thoracic cavities as well as the heart sac. The cause of this disease is usually attributed to asbestos exposure.

Warner was alarmed, of course, with the lab results. So it prompted her to test other children’s make-up kits. She sent 17 makeup products to the Scientific Analytical Institute, an independent test laboratory. Nine different states tested positive for asbestos. One of the items tested positive for asbestos included a glittery, metallic, hot pink, heart-shaped makeup kit that is sure to captivate a kid’s heart.

Claire’s was informed of the test results and ended up pulling out the tested items off its shelves. They also carried their own product testing. The results of their tests showed that their cosmetics were free of asbestos but further tests were recommended. Their product has a talc that comes from a European vendor that has been certified asbestos-free. This was highly surprising to Warner.

Scientific Analytical Institute, the laboratory that found the asbestos in the glittery make-up kit of Claire’s, also ran a test for asbestos in a blush sold by the teen retailer Justice and found traces of asbestos – and about four other heavy metals (Justice’s own tests did not find any asbestos).

However, Sean Fitzgerald, the Scientific lab’s Director of Research and Legal Services, said they stand behind the results of their tests. He said that it’s possible that different labs have different microscopes of various strengths. The retailers’ scientific labs might not be able to detect the asbestos in their products.

Fitzgerald said that children’s exposure to asbestos might lead to their early and untimely death in their 30s or 40s because asbestos fibers inhaled by a 10-year-old kid would still remain in their bodies until their 50s.

How many of our children’s toy and cosmetic products here in the Philippines have asbestos components? I dread the answer to that question now. Nevertheless, we should investigate and clamor for such toys and products to be taken off the shelves of children’s retailers here in the country.

So what do you think about the presence of asbestos in a child’s make-up kit or his/her toys? Share your opinions on this important and crucial topic in the comments below.

Image by LovelynM / CC0 1.0