An immense amount of cosmetic products sold in Canada and the US have been discovered to include increased levels of fluorine, suggesting the presence of possibly harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals.”
PFAs are a range of thousands of synthetic chemical compounds that were put in use for the manufacture of numerous commercial and household products since the middle of the last century.
Over the past few decades, research showed that the “forever chemicals” spread dangerously throughout the environment. Exposure to increased levels of PFAS substances has been related to harmful health effects in animals and humans.
A new study of 231 cosmetic products available in Canada and the US showed that 52% of the products tested presented alarming levels of fluorine, a trace of PFAS presence.
Graham Peaslee, a physicist from the Univesity of Notre Dame, said:
“These are products that are applied around the eyes and mouth with the potential for absorption through the skin or at the tear duct, as well as possible inhalation or ingestion PFAS is a persistent chemical – when it gets into the bloodstream, it stays there and accumulates.”
Tests revealed that fluorine was present in high levels in all cosmetic product categories tested, including concealers, lipsticks, foundations, and many more.
The most likely products to present high levels of fluorine was Waterproof mascara, with the chemical present in 82% of the products tested.
Other face products like blush, powders, bronzers, primers, sprays, and highlighters had a fluorine presence of only 40%, which is still considerable.
“High fluoride levels were found in products commonly advertised as ‘wear-resistant’ to water and oils or ‘long-lasting’ including foundations, liquid lipsticks, and waterproof mascaras,” the researchers explained.