investigating toxic cosmetics and flammable cosmetics
Health-related complaints regarding cosmetic products like shampoo, moisturizers and makeup are at an all-time high since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began monitoring the industry’s many consumer products. But despite the growing evidence of toxic cosmetics, and that personal care products are harmful to the health of individuals, cosmetics are still quite under-regulated in the United States.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration MAUDE complaints database contains only 5,144 adverse events between 2004 and 2016 reported in connection with defective cosmetics. For a multi-billion dollar industry with countless products, many experts say the number of adverse events like cosmetic burn injuries are grossly under-reported.
As with some drugs and supplements, most cosmetics do not need to go through a pre-market FDA approval process before they are marketed and sold in stores, even when the overall safety and the claims on the product labels remains unknown.
Even when health risks are known with products, it can be difficult to regulate an entire industry. If injury results from using a product, legal action is often the best course to pursue.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort and product liability claims.
Contact The Lyon Firm following any cancer case or burn injury linked to the use of toxic cosmetic products. Any toxic exposure to a consumer product can be grounds for a valuable product liability lawsuits, and settlement is likely.
Cosmetic Flammability & Burn Injury
There have been numerous cases of consumer burn injury linked to flammable cosmetics. The cosmetics industry may downplay the hazards of their products, and the FDA is unable to properly test cosmetics, relying on companies to provide their own safety assessments.
Cosmetic burn injury cases have surfaced when consumers use cosmetic aerosols, or when close to heat sources wearing dangerous cosmetics. If you have been injured due to a Combustible Cosmetics product, contact a product liability attorney to investigate.
Chemicals & Toxic Cosmetics
Phthalates—phthalates frequently used in cosmetics are also used in plastic wrap, wood furnishing, lubricants, insecticides, and detergents. Animal tests have concluded that phthalates negatively affect hormones and contribute to an early onset of puberty.
Imidazolidinyl Urea—used in many water-based cosmetics, deodorants, hair dyes, shaving cream, and face masks. This chemical is used as a preservative and releases formaldehyde. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists imidazolidinyl urea as a known allergen and toxicant.
Parabens—a chemical often used with imidazolidinyl urea in makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving products.
Triethanolamine (TEA)—animal tests have shown this chemical to be highly irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Long-term exposure to TEA may cause asthma and allergic reactions.
Polyethylene glycols (PEG)—used in moisturizers, it may affect the liver and kidneys if absorbed in the body.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate—can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
Stearalkonium Chloride—a chemical suspected of being an allergen and toxicant. May be found in hair conditioner and creams.
PVP/VA Copolymer—a binder in hair, nail, and skin care products that may be a skin irritant.
Synthetic Colors—artificial colors or dyes may be toxic and carcinogenic.
Synthetic Fragrances—could possibly contain allergens that may interfere with the immune system.
Asbestos–Thousands of lawsuits claim contaminated baby powder products have caused ovarian cancer cases.
Cosmetic Burn Injury & Toxic Exposure
Data analyzed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that male reproductive problems, including undescended testicles and hypospadias, doubled between 1970 and 1993, and environmental chemicals are strongly suspected as contributing factors.
Some studies have pointed to the presence of potential reproductive or developmental toxicants in cosmetics and personal care products.
According to reports released as early as June 2004, makeup, shampoo, skin lotion, nail polish, lipsticks, lip glosses, eye shadows, and other personal care products contain chemical ingredients that lack safety data, and some of these chemicals include preservatives, stabilizers, pigments, dyes, and heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and zinc.
Few consumers are aware of where their cosmetics are produced, and would be wary of purchasing the same products if they knew what chemicals and additives their cosmetics contained.
Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits
Talc powder products have been under fire recently with lawsuits targeting Johnson & Johnson for their baby powder products causing ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs and cancer victims claim years of baby powder use has led to thousands of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer cases.
Consumer safety lawyers are concerned the number of cancer cases could increase dramatically in coming years, as the use of talc products is still just as common, and baby powders have not been recalled in any form.
Claire’s Makeup Asbestos Lawsuits
In 2017, Claire’s, a major seller of accessories and cosmetics for young girls and teenagers, battled claims that some of its makeup products contained asbestos, a highly toxic substance known to cause cancer. Experts say there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, placing most Americans at risk with the widespread use of the material.
Claire’s announced a product recall after reports that one consumer sent a sample of the company’s glitter makeup out for independent testing. Claire’s makeup allegedly tested positive for asbestos, and Claire’s pulled related products from the market.
Despite growing evidence that popular cosmetics and makeup products on the market are produced with toxic substances and allergens, leading to skin burns, there is very little regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Consumers have complained about toxic cosmetics and inconsistencies in makeup products, many of which are manufactured overseas in China, and have caused chemical skin burns.
Consumer skin reactions to toxic cosmetics have included rashes, serious irritation and chemical skin burns, likely from additives that have not been identified on the packaging. Some popular cosmetics are made with more than basic preservatives, and some have tested positive for the following:
The majority of cosmetic products do not need to go through the FDA approval process before they are marketed and distributed. But serious health risks and skin burn injuries have been documented, and legal action may be the best way forward for injured plaintiffs.
Flammable cosmetics have been on the market for some time now. Cosmetic burn injury is a serious safety concern, and manufacturers have a duty to produce safer products for consumers. Combustible Cosmetics is not an area of litigation that has gotten much press, though plaintiffs may have viable personal injury and product liability cases.
The FDA cannot review and test every single cosmetic item that hits the market, and so they encourage cosmetic companies to test their own products in labs to ensure consumer safety. But far too often, companies rush to get products to market and fail to actually test the safety before consumers begin using them.
Cosmetic contamination can occur in a few different areas of production. As seen in baby powder talc contamination cases, the original talcum materials may have contained asbestos. These cases are still ongoing, and the scary part is how widespread the use of baby powder has been for decades.
Since a great deal of cosmetics are manufactured abroad, in China, India, and other nations, the oversight can be difficult for quality control inspectors. Facilities producing these products can cut many corners, and may use toxic chemicals in the products to cut costs. For many consumers, it is only a guess as to what chemicals are put in some cosmetics.
Toxic Cosmetics Recall
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, the FDA is charged with regulating cosmetics, whether they are produced in the U.S. or abroad. However, only when consumers issue complaints and report associated injuries does the FDA respond, often too late to issue recalls of problematic products.
Current regulation statutes require no specific tests or safety data before a cosmetics company sells a new product on the American market. So with loose oversight comes safety risks, skin burn injury reports and toxic cosmetics, affecting talcum powers, shampoos, soaps, lipstick, blush, mascara, makeup, eye liners, eye shadow and more.
The FDA is responsible for regulating cosmetics and personal care products. FDA regulations state that “Each ingredient used in a cosmetic product and each finished cosmetic product shall be adequately substantiated for safety prior to marketing.”
If a product or ingredient has not been adequately substantiated prior to marketing, it must include a Black Box warning. Some recent cosmetics recalls include the following:
Divine Living recalls Divine Living Tooth Brushing Spray
Avlon Industries, Inc recalls As I am Born Curly Argan Curl Defining Jelly due to the presence of Enterobacter gergoviae.
Avlon Industries, Inc recalls KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo due to the presence of Enterobacter cloacae.
Radiant Colors recalls Radiant Colors Victor Portugal Lining Black because the tattoo ink was found to contain Bacillus altitudinis.
Fusion Ink, LLC recalls Royal Blue Glycerin Tattoo Ink due to microbial contamination of tattoo ink.
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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Defective products on the market present safety and health hazards for adults and children. Cheap and defective products may pose fire and burn risks; electrocution, strangulation and choking risks; and severe health risks. The manufacturers of consumer products have a duty to foresee potential injury and properly design and test products before they are released.
Companies must also properly warn consumers of any risks associated with their products. Any failure to protect consumers that results in accidents and injury can lead to lawsuits filed by plaintiffs and their product liability lawyer.
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