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Contaminated face paints and heavy metals in make-up among safety problems found in cosmetics

One in ten of all 471 products tested were found to be non-compliant with Ireland’s health product watchdog’s health and safety regulations.

Image: MilanMarkovic78 via Shutterstock

CONTAMINATED TALCUM POWDERS and face paints, and heavy metals in make-up and children’s products are among the health and safety breaches of cosmetics sold in Ireland last year.

As part of the Health Products Authority’s annual report for 2016, 471 cosmetic products were sent for laboratory testing with 54 (11%) found to be non-compliant.

The report showed that the”largest areas of non-compliance included microbial contamination of talcum powders and face paints, heavy metals in make-up and children’s products, phenol in henna products and the presence of kojic acid not declared on the labelling of some skincare creams”.

shutterstock_177505541 Source: Tomsickova Tatyana via Shutterstock

The investigation looked at quality related complaints (called “compliance cases”), reports of adverse events relating to the use of cosmetics (called “vigilance cases”) and serious risk alerts.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 at 19.26.53 The rate of how complaints are reported and investigated. Source: HPRA Annual Report 2016

Of the 163 compliance cases opened, 150 involved cosmetic products that were deemed to be non-compliant with EU regulations, which would be more stringent than US regulations.

According to the report, the majority of non-compliance cases were in the areas of labelling, the presence of prohibited substances, contamination (mainly microbiological or heavy metals) and unsupported efficacy claims.

There were five withdrawals from the Irish market as a result of non-compliances due to issues such as microbiological contamination, counterfeiting and labelling issues.

During the year, 13 vigilance cases were investigated. These related to hair products, creams, lotions, make-up products and others.

A total of 110 cases classed as “serious risk alerts” were received from other European member states regarding non-compliant cosmetic products.

Five of these products were found on the Irish market and removed from sale.

Have you had a bad reaction with cosmetics bought in Ireland? Get in touch to share your story.

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