Perfluoroalkylated Substances (PFAS) are added to other products to make them water repellent. We can therefore find them in cosmetics, such as mascara or lipstick, which are presented as being
water resistant or from
Studies have linked PFAS to health problems like cancer and obesity. They could also reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, which takes on a whole new relevance in the context of the current pandemic.
The reason we’re worried about them is that they’re pretty persistent. Once we are exposed, they may persist in our body for a few years., commented Professor Maryse Bouchard, from the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal.
The researchers analyzed 231 cosmetics purchased in Canada and the United States. More than three-quarters of water-resistant mascaras, almost two-thirds of foundations and liquid lipsticks, and more than half of eye and lip products contained high concentrations of fluorite.
Water-resistant mascaras came far ahead, with 82% of products analyzed containing high concentrations of fluorite.
Twenty-nine cosmetics selected for further analysis contained detectable levels of at least four specific PFAS, including PFAS that degrade into other PFAS that are known to be very toxic or harmful to the environment.
Enter the body
If PFAS is added to a garment, for example, to make it water repellent or to protect it from stains, the route of exposure to the body will not necessarily be
obvious, said Ms. Bouchard. On the other hand, the application of cosmetics on the lips or near the eyes may allow PFAS to enter the body.
When it comes to products that are applied directly to our body, it is obvious that there will be contact and absorption in the body, so it is worrying for that reason.
For now, she adds,
it is impossible for the consumer to know that the cosmetics they buy or use contain PFAS.
It’s really hidden, did she say.
It is really important that the public be informed of the presence of this class of contaminants, the toxicity of which has been demonstrated., said Ms. Bouchard.
We know there are toxic effects.
Especially since these are not essential products, she continues. The consumer who does a risk-benefit analysis may come to the conclusion that the game is not worth the candle.
This is also how campaigns are born that encourage companies to change their way of doing things., recalls Ms. Bouchard.
It becomes a selling point, she explained.
They will announce cosmetics without SPFA, as we are announcing today without BPA.
The findings of this study were published by the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.