Many cosmetics include hidden PFAS, or ‘eternally chemical compounds’

A brand new chemical evaluation has revealed an unpleasant reality about magnificence merchandise: Many could include extremely persistent, doubtlessly dangerous “eternally chemical compounds” referred to as PFAS.

PFAS, brief for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, embrace hundreds of chemical compounds which are so sturdy they will linger within the physique for years and the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The well being results of just a few PFAS are well-known, however these compounds have been linked to excessive ldl cholesterol, thyroid ailments and different issues.

“There isn’t a recognized good PFAS,” says chemist and physicist Graham Peaslee of the College of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Within the first giant screening of cosmetics for PFAS in the USA and Canada, Peaslee and colleagues discovered that 52 % of over 200 examined merchandise had excessive fluorine concentrations, suggesting the presence of PFAS, the researchers report on-line June 15 in Environmental Science & Know-how Letters.

The potential well being dangers of PFAS in make-up will not be but clear, Peaslee says. However apart from individuals ingesting or absorbing PFAS when sporting make-up, cosmetics washed down the drain might get into ingesting water (SN: 11/25/18).

Peaslee’s workforce measured the quantity of fluorine, a key part of PFAS, in 231 cosmetics. Sixty-three % of foundations, 55 % of lip merchandise and 82 % of waterproof mascara contained excessive ranges of fluorine — a minimum of 0.384 micrograms of fluorine per sq. centimeter of product unfold on a bit of paper. Lengthy-lasting or waterproof merchandise had been particularly prone to include numerous fluorine. That is smart, since PFAS are water resistant.

Twenty-nine merchandise additional examined for particular PFAS all contained a minimum of 4 of those chemical compounds, however just one product listed PFAS amongst its substances. Along with posing their very own potential well being dangers, these compounds can break down within the physique into different PFAS, akin to perfluorooctanoic acid, which has been linked to cancers and low delivery weights (SN: 6/4/19).

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