Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 15, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home ScienceEnvironment “Forever chemicals” still in use in UK makeup

“Forever chemicals” still in use in UK makeup

Online Deputy Editor, Daisy Scott, discusses recent findings that PFAS chemicals are still being produced in many major makeup companies and the effects that these chemicals can have.
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“Forever chemicals” still in use in UK makeup

Image: Pixabay

Online Deputy Editor, Daisy Scott, discusses recent findings that PFAS chemicals are still being produced in many major makeup companies and the effects that these chemicals can have.

An investigation by BBC News has recently found that major makeup companies are still producing makeup that contains “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. A freedom of information request by the BBC revealed that Urban Decay, Revolution, and Inglot are still producing “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, however, they have said that they are phasing out the chemicals. 

PFAS – Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluroalkyl substances – are a family of 4,700 synthetic chemicals that have been linked to serious health concerns, including cancer. They do not naturally break down which allows them to accumulate in the environment and they are resistant to oil and water, making them highly valuable to the make-up industry. Do to their properties, they are often dubbed “forever chemicals”. High levels of exposure to the chemicals have been associated with cancer, birth defects and thyroid issues. There is still ongoing research to determine the impacts that exposure to lower levels of the compound on the body – but scientists and politicians are concerned that even at these levels PFAS can build up in the environment. 

PFAS – 4,700 synthetic chemicals the have been linked to serious health concerns, including cancer

A peer-reived study in 2021, published in Environmental Science & Technology, detected “high” levels of organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS, in over half of 231 makeup and personal samples. 

PFAS are not currently illegal in the UK but five EU countries are expected to soon propose an EU-wide ban which would make their use illegal. 

Detected “high” levels of organic fluorine in over half of 231 makeup and personal samples

Many brands are now PFAS free due to the increasing evidence suggesting negative both emotional and health impacts from the compounds. Many companies do not list PFAS on their labels when they use, making them nearly impossible for consumers to avoid. 

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