As of this year, the cosmetics and personal care industry is a $91.41 billion market in the United States. Every day, Florida residents use personal care products like soaps and lotions and cosmetics to make themselves feel and look better. They never expect these products to harm them, but each year dangerous products do cause damages and serious injuries.
What Are the Laws That Affect Cosmetics?
In the United States, cosmetics are regulated under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Unfortunately, these laws do not necessarily always ensure that cosmetics on our store shelves are safe.
In fact, the FDA can’t mandate the safety testing of cosmetics before they’re offered for sale. They can’t require a recall without a company being placed before the courts. Except for color additives, cosmetics also don’t need premarket approval from the FDA.
While cosmetics do need to list ingredients, many groups of chemicals can simply be listed, undisclosed, under the umbrella term “fragrances” on labels. Labels also don’t need to be approved by the FDA before a product is sold, so there is little oversight to make sure labels are truthful.
What Kinds of Injuries Happen From Cosmetics?
One of the most common injuries is an allergic reaction of the skin. The skin can get red, swollen, scaly, painful, and itchy where the makeup or product was applied. Other injuries can include:
- Eye infections and eye injury
- Hair loss
- Organ damage and organ failure
- Reproductive, fertility, and hormonal injury
- Birth defects
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Illness due to exposure to toxic ingredients
Some injuries are hard to detect. For example, for years many cosmetic and self-care products contained talc. It was later found that the ingredient could cause cancer.
Personal care items such as makeup have also sometimes been found to contain lead, latex, parabens, pesticides, asbestos, formaldehyde, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), benzene, and other potentially dangerous ingredients. Sometimes, these ingredients don’t cause harm right away but can have significant and life-threatening outcomes for the person using the product with such ingredients.
When someone faces organ damage, cancer, or another serious outcome, it can be difficult to show what caused the illness. Often, injured plaintiffs need to work closely with attorneys to get answers and to hold negligent companies accountable.
How Can You Prevent Injuries?
If you use cosmetics and personal care items, here are a few ways to reduce your risk of injuries:
- Buy only from makeup brands you trust. Read reviews and recalls to find trustworthy brands.
- Always read the ingredients list.
- Check the best-before date and don’t use any products that are expired or that seem to have a bad smell or color change.
- Do a spot test first, by applying a little of the makeup to an inconspicuous spot on your arm. Wait 24 hours to make sure you don’t have a reaction.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured by Unsafe Makeup?
If you suffer an injury or reaction to makeup, stop using the item immediately. See a doctor for a proper evaluation and medical advice and take photos of the injury. This can help you document your case. Also, keep the product and receipt.
If your injury resulted in medical bills, lost income, and other losses, you may be able to seek compensation for these losses through a products liability claim. To find out whether you qualify, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in these types of cases.
Should you have a claim, you will need to prove that the cosmetic you used caused your injury. You will also need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in creating the product and that you used the item as intended. Your products liability attorney can help prove your case by working with investigators and professionals who can show what happened.
If you have been injured by makeup, you’re not alone. A study from the University of Notre Dame found that half of the cosmetics they tested contained “forever chemicals,” which are ingredients which have been proven to remain in the body for years and which have been linked to serious health conditions. Even some products which are labelled as “natural” or “clean” have been found to have potentially unsafe or known carcinogen ingredients.
Have you been injured by a makeup or personal care product? If you have, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligate case consultation with a products liability claims attorney. Our team has already represented thousands of clients and has secured over $100 million for them in settlements and lawsuits.