Green Beauty Product Testing Finds More Than 60% Have PFAS Indicators
By Elizabeth Gribkoff | Environmental Health News | December 3, 2021
Read the full article by Elizabeth Gribkoff (Environmental Health News)
“Green cosmetic makers know their audience. One manufacturer, in addition to the standard lines about how long-lasting and colorful their product is, says that their lip tint is ‘cruelty-free,’ vegan, and made from wholesome ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter.
Missing from the product description is any reference to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or ‘PFAS’ — although one tube of that particular liquid lipstick contained 865 parts per million of the PFAS indicator fluorine, according to a new investigation from the environmental wellness community and blog Mamavation.
Of the 83 lipsticks, mascaras, and other beauty products tested by Mamavation, 54 were found to have organic fluorine, with eight containing organic fluorine levels higher than 100 parts per million. PFAS exposure has been linked to everything from cancer to birth defects to lower vaccine effectiveness.
‘Originally, I thought that green beauty would have had consistently lower levels than regular beauty,’ products, Leah Segedie, founder and editor-in-chief of Mamavation, told EHN. ‘It doesn’t really look like that.’
This summer, a University of Notre Dame research team tested 231 makeup products for fluorine, finding that more than half contained the PFAS indicator.
Dr. Rainer Lohmann, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island who researches PFAS contamination but wasn’t involved in the Notre Dame study, told EHN that testing for organic fluorine is a faster and cheaper way to screen for a range of PFAS — especially since mass spectrometry tests currently only target dozens of the thousands of chemicals in that family.
After the University of Notre Dame study came out, Mamavation, which had previously tested for PFAS in products like period underwear and ketchup, received questions from readers about whether PFAS were in their favorite green beauty products.
Makeup is ‘a daily exposure that they have,’ Segedie said.
Focusing on waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipstick — cosmetics found by the University of Notre Dame researchers to contain the highest organic fluorine levels — Mamavation sent unopened cosmetics from a number of brands to a third-party lab for testing. Segedie called the testing a ‘spot check’ of one or a couple of products from a particular company, noting that she crowdsourced which brands to test based on what makeup Mamavation community members used. ‘I couldn’t say that this would represent every product and every formula,’ she added.”…
This content provided by the PFAS Project.