Traces of asbestos have been found in an eyeshadow palette by cosmetics brand MUA.
The palette, named “Silent Disco”, was discontinued in 2019 and has now been analysed in a series of tests conducted as part of a new BBC Three series, Beauty Laid Bare.
In the programme, MUA’s palette is among a number of talc-based beauty products tested for asbestos contamination by Sean Fitzgerald, director of research and legal services at the Scientific Analytical Institute (SAI), a private laboratory based in the US.
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All of the products were ordered directly from the store’s website before being sent on to SAI so as to make sure there was no chance of contamination in transit.
Fitzgerald’s tests showed that asbestos was in three wells inside the “Silent Disco” palette.
Asbestos is a term for a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres. It is now known to be a potential carcinogen and can cause several other serious conditions such as pleural thickening, which is when the lining of the lung thickens and swells.
But before its risks were known, asbestos was frequently used in buildings for insulation, flooring and roofing and sprayed on ceilings and walls. However, it is now banned in the UK.
Regarding BBC Three’s findings, a spokesperson for MUA assured customers that the eyeshadow palette in question had been discontinued.
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“Thank you to the BBC for sharing this research; we would like to assure our customers that we take their care extremely seriously,” they said.
“This particular product – the Silent Disco Eyeshadow Palette – was a fashion item discontinued over a year ago and is no longer on sale. However with this, as with all our products we rigorously comply with all EU safety standards on contaminants and keep full records of test results, along with samples of each product.
“This means we’ve been able to carry out more recent tests on this exact batch of product, completed by two leading laboratories, one of which is the world’s leading authority in cosmetic testing, which also showed no trace of any contamination.”
The spokesperson encouraged any concerned MUA customers to contact them directly via email.
It’s not the first time that asbestos has been found in a talc-based product. In October last year, Johnson & Johnson recalled a shipment of baby powder in the US after it was found to contain traces of asbestos by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
On 4 February 4, the FDA is set to hold a public meeting on testing methods for asbestos in talc and cosmetic products containing talc.