Consumers in Texas and across the country can typically rely on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect them from contaminated and dangerous food and drug products. However, the agency’s power to recall potentially harmful products does not extend to cosmetics and skincare products. These products can be tested, and consumers can be warned of dangerous products, but it is up to the manufacturers to remove them from the shelves. This does not prevent consumers from filing products liability lawsuits if they were harmed by the cosmetics they used.
In a recent report, the FDA announced that after pressure from safety advocates and the media, Justice and Claire’s have voluntarily removed cosmetic products containing hazardous chemicals from the shelves of retailers. Some products were found to contain asbestos, which is easily inhaled in powder form. Once inhaled, asbestos can cause permanent damage to the lungs, and the damage could lead to several types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma.
Efforts to ban body care and cosmetic products containing any of the 13 known hazardous chemicals have so far been in vain. Along with asbestos, mercury and lead are on the list. Also targeted are chemicals used in the glue used to affix false eyelashes, fluorinated substances added to anti-aging and waterproof cosmetics, and chemicals used as preservatives in skincare products, which have been linked to infertility and cancer.
Consumers in Texas who were harmed by defective or dangerous cosmetic products can sue the manufacturers, but it will not be easy. In most other products liability cases, the FDA has already declared the product unsafe, while the burden to prove a skincare product is dangerous and that it caused harm will be on the consumer. Fortunately, help is available from a personal injury attorney who has experience in fighting for the rights of consumers.