The Danish consumer council Think Chemicals has released test results that show the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and other unwanted chemicals found in mascaras.
Having checked ingredient labels for 55 products against lists of problematic substances, including the EU’s endocrine disruptor priority list, the independent testing council found there to be allergenic or ingredients said to be ‘endocrine disrupting and problematic to the environment’ in 32 products.
Ingredients identified include parabens, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), PTFE, chloroxylenol, imidazolidinyl urea and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
The results acknowledged that while the ingredients within the mascaras do not independently cause a problem due to the small traces, there could be a ‘cocktail effect’ when combined with unwanted chemicals from other sources.
According to the research, “The cocktail effect is the combined effect when you add up your exposure to many different substances from many different products. Even though the single product is safe, your combined exposure can be too high.”
Brands studied during the research include Clinique, MAC, Chanel, Helena Rubinstein, Lancôme and L’Oréal, with results highlighting that the companies had products with and without the harmful chemicals, and as a result urged consumers to buy items without problematic chemicals in order to limit exposure.
Talking to Chemical Watch, a spokesperson for L’Oreal said, “When it comes to preservatives in our products, they can be necessary to protect the product against bacteria and fungus and to secure that the product can be used for several months. We use only safe products and legal preservatives and do not compromise our consumers’ safety.”
Meanwhile Estée Lauder stated it only uses ingredients approved by the EU and Danish authorities.