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You may want to test your teen's makeup

The news broke last month that at least one national retailer - whose targeted demographic group is adolescent girls and young women - was found to be selling potentially cancer-causing makeup. This revelation came in the midst of the holiday sales crush, when consumers were flocking to malls and stores for last-minute gifts for friends and loved ones.

One company, Hawk Environmental Services, saw a way to allay parental fears about possible asbestos contamination by offering consumers a home test kit for any of the suspected cosmetics.

Late 2017 press release designed to ease concerns

On December 29, the Seattle company released its press release wherein it described the affordable and easy-to-use test kit that can screen questionable cosmetics for the presence of known or suspected carcinogens like tremolite asbestos.

The company's staff have been trained to inspect and test building materials for the presence of asbestos. The company only uses labs for the analyses that have National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) certification. Their current offer includes a return mail packet.

Why you might want to test your daughter's makeup

As tremolite, asbestos could be present in the talc the manufacturer of the makeup used in processing its goods. Any product that contains either glitter or talc could potentially be a hazard. At the time of the press release, there was a dearth of information available regarding which potential products may pose risks to young consumers or anyone else who uses, or is otherwise exposed to, the makeup.

What the test can reveal

The screening process uses polarized light microscopy (PLM) method to detect asbestos fibers. The method is able to detect abnormalities to a 1 percent level. This initial screening, with its relatively low cost and consumer-friendly approach is a good start for identifying possibly dangerous cosmetic products lurking in your teen's makeup bag.

The price of each sample is $40 for any consumer within the United States. That cost includes analysis by certified laboratory technicians.

Next steps

For many consumers, simply having their children's makeup get a clean bill of health from the lab will be a worthwhile investment. But for others with more concerning results, the process may continue.

If your child had exposure to toxic, potentially carcinogenic substances in makeup products, you have a right to be angry and upset. You also have the right to seek further action against manufacturers and retailers who may bear possible liability from any harm or damage that resulted from the use of their products.

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