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A study conducted by a leading green NGO has found high amount of heavy metals including mercury in fairness products of reputed companies being endorsed by big Bollywood names.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE's) Pollution Monitoring Lab (PML), which conducted the study, said despite the prohibition of use of mercury in cosmetics in India, it found mercury in 44 per cent of the fairness creams it tested.

Cosmetics in India, some of which are endorsed by well known celebrities, have portions of mercury and chromium in them, reveals a recent study.

The use of mercury and chromium in cosmetics is prohibited in India.
Mercury, which is used in fairness creams is universally recognised as extremely toxic, while chromium, which causes cancer, is used in lipsticks.

CSE Study Finds Leading Brands Using Mercury, Chromium And Nickel

New Delhi: Your make-up may be leaving you with a touch of toxic heavy metals, with potential health implications over long-term use. A study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claims to have found high levels of mercury in several well-known national and international brands of skinwhitening creams and chromium in several brands of lipsticks.

Popular cosmetic products, including fairness creams and lipsticks, contain mercury, chromium and nickel, according to a report released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) here on Wedn

A new study by the NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Wednesday said that several popular cosmetics are loaded with toxic heavy metals such as mercury and nickel.

A new study has found mercury in fairness creams and chromium and nickel in lipsticks.

CSE shared its findings with the respective companies to find out the reasons for the presence of such high levels of heavy metals in cosmetics. “We hoped that this would help find ways to limit the presence of heavy metals in cosmetics,” say CSE researchers.

Cosmetics products in India are regulated under the Drugs and cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 and Labeling Declarations by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). BIS sets the standards for cosmetics for the products listed under Schedule ‘S’ of the Drugs and cosmetics Rules 1945 .

A variety of chemicals are used in cosmetics as ingredients and some are used as preservatives. These chemicals have different health effects. Hexavallent Chromium (Cr+6) is corrosive and allergic to the skin. Cr+6 compounds are enlisted as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Nickel (Ni) is a natural element of the earth's crust and, therefore, small amounts of it are found in food, water, soil, and air.