High Levels of Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in More Than Half of Cosmetics Sold in the US • Child Health Protections


Scientists tested more than 200 cosmetics including concealers, foundations, eye and eyebrow products and various lip products and found an estimated 50% to contain fluorine levels, which is an indication. in PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” in products.

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Many cosmetics sold in the U.S. and Canada are likely to contain high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl components (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals associated with severe health condition, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.

Scientists have tested more than 200 cosmetics including concealers, foundations, eye and eyebrow products and various lip products. According to the study, 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of tested mascaras were found to contain low levels of fluorine, which is an indication of the use of PFAS in product. The study was recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

“These consequences are particularly understandable when you consider the risk of consumer exposure involved in the size and scale of a multibillion-dollar industry that delivers these products to millions of consumers every day, Graham Peaslee, professor of physics of Notre Dame and chief investigator of the study, it said. “There is an individual risk – these are products placed around the eyes and mouth that have the potential for absorption through the skin or the tear duct, as well as possible ingestion or ingestion. PFAS is an ongoing chemical “- if it enters the bloodstream, it will stay there and accumulate. There is also an increased risk of environmental contamination that accompanies the manufacture and disposal of products, which can affect many people.”

Cosmetic Categories

Formerly found in nonstick cookware, treated fabrics, quickly food wrappers and more recently, the protective equipment used by firefighters across the country, the PFAS is known to “forever chemicals, ”Because chemical compounds are not naturally degradable – which means they contaminate groundwater decades after they are released into the environment. The use of PFAS in foam fire suppressants is associated with contamination drinking water systems, urging the Department of Defense to move to safer environmental options, for example.

Studies have linked specific PFAS to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, hypertension, thyroid disease, short-term birth weight and immunotoxicity in children.

Peaslee and the research team tested products purchased at U.S. business locations as well as products purchased online in Canada. The study found high levels of fluorine in liquid lipsticks, waterproof mascaras and foundations that are often advertised as “durable” and “non-wearable.” Peaslee says this is not surprising, since PFAS are often used for their water resistance and film-making properties.

What is best known is that 29 products with high concentrations of fluorine have yet to be tested and found to contain four and 13 specific PFASs, only one of which has been tested with listed PFAS as a ingredients on the product label.

“It’s a red flag,” Peaslee said. “Our objections point to the widespread use of PFAS in these products – but it is important to remember that the full extent of the use of fluorinated chemicals in cosmetics is difficult to estimate due to the lack of strict requirements in marking the same countries. “

Peaslee’s novel approach to detecting PFAS in many different materials has helped reduce the use of “forever chemicals” in consumer and industrial products.

Following a study from his lab in 2017, fast food chains discovered their packages contained PFAS -enabled options. Peaslee continues to receive samples of fire equipment from fire departments around the world to test for PFAS, and his research has inspired discussions within the firefighter community to eliminate the use of “forever. chemicals ”in various personal protective equipment articles.

Fellow study authors included graduate student and lead author Heather D. Whitehead; Emi Eastman, Megan Green, Meghanne Tighe, John T. Wilkinson and Sean McGuinness of Notre Dame; Marta Venier and Yan Wu of Indiana University; Miriam Diamond, Anna Shalin and Heather Schwartz-Narbonne of the University of Toronto; Shannon Urbanik of Hope College; Tom Bruton and Arlene Blum of the Green Science Policy Institute; and Zhanyun Wang of ETH Zurich.

Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Great Lakes Protection Initiative of the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada partly funded the study.

Originally published on Notre Dame News.



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