Following the discovery of asbestos in some of the cosmetic products sold by the retailer Claire's, some members of the U.S. Congress are pushing for improved warning labels on potentially dangerous products. Asbestos exposure is especially serious as it can lead to fatal illnesses decades in the future. Better labeling practices could give South Carolina consumers the power and confidence to choose products that are free from asbestos.
Representative Debbie Dingell recently introduced legislation that would require companies to place warning labels on products that could possibly contain asbestos. Representative Jan Schakowsky co-sponsored the bill. The CEO and president of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization Linda Reinstein also spoke out in support of the bill, saying that it would help parents protect their children from dangerous products.
The Environmental Working Group also supports the new legislation for asbestos warning. According to the EWG there are thousands of products that contain talc, which comes from the same type of rock as asbestos. Talc is often contaminated with asbestos, and many people believe consumers should be warned of the likelihood of exposure that stems from talc products. When considering the 15,000 annual deaths linked to asbestos exposure, improved warning labels could make a marked change in safety for consumers.
There is no denying the dangerous and devastating effects of asbestos exposure. From lung cancer to mesothelioma, many victims do not even realize that they were exposed to the toxic substance until they begin to develop symptoms. Better labeling systems might help prevent some of these deaths, but until such a time, victims and their families in South Carolina can seek compensation for their illnesses through civil lawsuits.