Indian cosmetics contain metals

UNB, Dhaka :Most of the Indian cosmetics which are available in Bangladesh market may cause serious harm to beauty seekers as those contain heavy metals, according to experts.”Bangladesh market is flooded with Indian beauty products. So, the presence of heavy metals in Indian cosmetics is a serious concern for the Bangladeshi beauty seekers, too,” eminent dermatologist Prof Dr Kabir Chowdhury told UNB in response to the findings of an Indian study report.A new study conducted by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment reveals that the fairness creams, endorsed by some of biggest Bollywood names, could contain mercury, an element which is universally recognised as extremely toxic. Lipsticks may come packed with chromium, which is carcinogenic. Dr Afzalul Karim, a professor of Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College, said ‘contract allergy’ may be developed in skin due to use of nickel and mercury.”If human skin absorbs more mercury, it can affect liver apart from developing skin cancer,” he said, adding the government has no control over the marketing of beauty products, which is harmful to human skin.Dr Kabir Chowdhury said nickel contributes eczema and the use of nickel-contained Indian lipsticks will increase eczema among the users of beauty products.About the mercury, he said, it can affect the child in the womb after the use of mercury-contained fairness cream as mercury poses barrier to a developing child in the womb.The skin specialist said mercury can develop cancer in skin after the use of mercury-contained fairness cream. “Fairness cream thins skin. The creams of lightening, whitening and brightening are blighting for skin.”No cream can brighten skin, Kabir Chowdhury said, if the fairness creams could brighten skin, many black people would get white using these creams.CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Lab (PML), which recently conducted the study, found mercury in 44 percent of the fairness creams it tested. It also found chromium in 50 percent and nickel in 43 percent of the lipstick samples it tested.A total of 73 cosmetic products of four different categories were tested for heavy metals: 32 fairness creams (26 for women and six for men) were tested for mercury. 30 lipsticks, 8 lip balms and 3 anti-ageing creams were tested for lead, cadmium, chromium and nickel. The samples included Indian and international cosmetic brands along with a few herbal products.Mercury was found in 14 fairness creams tested by CSE in the range of 0.10 parts per million (ppm) to 1.97 ppm. Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Acts and Rules of India, Mercury is banned for use in cosmetics.Aroma Magic Fair Lotion, a product of Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt Ltd, had the highest mercury level at 1.97 ppm, followed by Olay Natural White (1.79 ppm), a product of Procter and Gamble, India, and Ponds White Beauty (1.36 ppm) of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.Chromium was found in 15 out of 30 lipsticks tested in the range of 0.45 ppm to 17.83 ppm. Hearts & Tarts (080V) shade of ColorBar had the highest concentration. Nickel was found in 13 out of 30 products tested in the range of 0.57 to 9.18 ppm, with Lancome Labsolu Nu-204 of L’Oreal India Pvt. Ltd. containing the highest concentration. Most of the Indian cosmetics are available in Bangladesh markets.