What? Mercury in cosmetics banned ? Wow, those levels of mercury must be astronimically high to ban it in a product that is occasionally used by a small percentage of the population. What? the amount found in cosmetics is only a miniscule fraction of what is released from dental mercury amalgam fillings continually for the life of the amalgam, which can sometimes be upward of 30+ years. Go figure.
Mercury in mascara? Minnesota bans it
Preservative in cosmetics can cause neurological damage
From the Associated Press, Via MSN. 12/14/2007
Minnesota apparently is the first state in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury in cosmetics, giving it a tougher standard than the federal government.
Retailers who knowingly sell mercury-containing cosmetics in Minnesota could face fines of as much as $700. Penalties could reach $10,000 for manufacturers who fail to disclose mercury on product labels, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
"Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities," said Sen. John Marty, the Democrat from Roseville who sponsored the ban. "Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn't here."
The new law is intended as a warning to cosmetics manufacturers not to use mercury, said John Gilkeson, with the state Pollution Control Agency's toxics reduction program. Enforcement will happen mainly when consumers complain.
Using eye makeup with mercury is unlikely to cause immediate health problems, but mercury accumulates in the body, so consumers should avoid exposure whenever possible, said Carl Herbrandson, a toxicologist with the state Health Department.
"Mercury is bad, basically in all forms that get into the body," Herbrandson said.
Mercury can retard brain development in children and fetuses, who are most vulnerable to the metal's toxic effects. But it can also cause neurological symptoms in adults.
Mercury fumes can collect inside a jar of skin cream or a tube of mascara, and a person could inhale them when the container is opened, Herbrandson said.
read the rest of the article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22258423/
Mercury was banned in cosmetics in the US in 1974. According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) written and enforced by the FDA, mercury is not allowed in cosmetics in levels of more than 1 part per million except for products used around the eye. For these, the limit is 65 part per million and only if it’s used
…as a preservative, and there is no effective and safe nonmercurial substitute preservative available for use in such cosmetic.
While the cosmetics industry claims the levels of mercury found in cosmetics pose little risk to human health, an August 2005 WHO policy paper asserts that "studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse health effects do not occur." Skin-lightening creams could pose more of a health risk as people generally apply relatively large amounts of them over sizeable areas of their bodies.
Connecticut In 2002, Connecticut enacted a law that: • implements a phase-out of many mercury-added products – effective July 1, 2006 the sale or distribution of mercury-added products containing more than one hundred milligrams or 50 parts per million of mercury is prohibited (with some exceptions for mercury-containing lamps), unless the product is specifically exempted from the statutory phase-out requirements.
(products subject to this phase-out under these provisions include household mercury thermostats, various chemical reagents, and mercury added switches including float switches and pressure switches);
• requires product labeling for most mercury-added products;
• bans the sale or distribution of certain mercury products;
• requires the manufacturers to initiate collection programs for many mercury-added products;
• establishes best management practices for dentists; and
• limits the sale of elemental mercury.