The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, found that many lipsticks and mascaras contain high levels of a toxic chemical called polyfluoroalkyls, or PFAS, according to CBC.The study said that cosmetics producers rarely mention that these substances are present in the ingredients, which makes them difficult to avoid and accumulate over years in the body, causing serious health problems.
According to the study, these ingredients are also used in lubricants, stain removers, paint and firefighting foams.For the new study, Heather Whitehead, a graduate student in chemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and her team examined 231 cosmetic products in Canada and the United States, most of which did not report PFAS ingredients.
The researchers found highly toxic and environmentally harmful substances in about 52 percent of these products, which included waterproof mascara, eyeshadows, eyeliners, lipsticks and foundations.
The researchers said that many of these products are designed to be placed near the mouth or eyes, which can increase exposure through licking or absorption by the skin or through the tear ducts.
Scientists advised that products that are marketed as water-resistant or that remain for a long time and are more likely than others to contain harmful substances should be avoided.