‘Forever chemicals’ are actually in use in UK makeup.


These pollutants – PFAS – have been linked to severe health concerns, including cancer.
They are not illegal in the UK, but five European countries expect to propose an EU-wide ban on Friday.
Urban Decay’s landlord L’Oréal, Revolution and Inglot, told the BBC they lived phasing out the chemicals.
PFAS, which stands for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, are resistant to oil and water, making them highly valuable to the makeup industry.
Historically they have been added to effects to make them last longer, improve the finish, and preserve the color of eyeshadows and lipsticks.

PFAS stands for Poly and Perfluoroalkyl Substances and is resistant to oil and water, making it very valuable to the makeup industry.
In the past, they add to products to make them last longer, improve the finish, and preserve the color of eye shadows and lipsticks.
Many brands are now “PFAS-free” as there is mounting evidence of these compounds’ negative environmental and health impacts.
But a BBC News investigation into the UK cosmetics market has identified dozens of products sold in the UK that still contain these toxic chemicals.
High exposure has a link to cancer, congenital disabilities, and thyroid problems.
Research is still ongoing to determine the effects of lower levels of exposure – such as in makeup – but scientists and policymakers are concerned even at these levels because PFAS can accumulate in the environment.

These substances contain strong adhesives that break down intrinsically. The more products are used and disposed of, e.g., B. by washing off makeup, PFAS accumulates in rivers and soil and even detects in human blood.
Studies in which animals were expos to PFAS in laboratories found that they caused congenital disabilities, liver damage, and neonatal deaths. Most of these studies have tested doses in higher concentrations than are typically found in the environment.
Prof Miriam Diamond, an environmental chemist at the University of Toronto whose lab has previously looked at contamination in US cosmetics, told the BBC that consumers should be concerned about low levels of contamination in products because of the limited information on the long-term toxic effects.

On Friday, Germany and four other European nations will submit a proposal to the EU to ban the manufacture and use of PFAS amid concerns about human accumulation and exposure.
This potential risk prompted the Environment Agency (EA) to review the use of PFAS in the UK in 2021.
During this review, the EA asked the cosmetics industry body, the CTPA, to tell it which PFAS compounds are still used in the UK cosmetics industry and by which companies.
The CTPA told the EA that nine PFAS would be used but declined to share the company names for “commercial reasons.”
The EA did not publish the names of the industry’s nine PFAS still in use in its final report. But a BBC News Freedom of Information request to the EA has revealed them. The BBC searched thousands of ingredient lists of the most popular UK brands and common product types that use PFAS: mascara, eyeshadow, foundation, and lipsticks.

Products from Revolution, Inglot, and Urban Decay – a subsidiary of L’Oréal – have been found to contain PFAS called PTFE and poly perfluoro methyl isopropyl ether. They sold through multiple outlets as well as through their websites.
Dr. Francesca Bevan, chemical policy manager at the Marine Conservation Society, which is part of the NGO group, said they want regulation because water treatment processes are currently ineffective at removing PFAS from wastewater, meaning they get into our river’s reach.
She said: “Some PFAS have already link to health effects in marine animals, such as B. decreased immune, liver, blood, and kidney function in bottlenose dolphins or thyroid hormone imbalance in seabirds, and it is probably only a matter of time before other health effects are recognized.”

Industry body CTPA declined to be interviewed by the BBC on the matter but said in a statement: “The cosmetics industry welcomes any action taken to protect the environment and our health from harm.”
They also added that they “have been working with the UK Environment Agency for several years to help the agency better understand the sources of PFAS chemicals.”
But an email exchange seen by the BBC in late 2022 between senior advisers to the Environment Agency calls into question the industry’s transparency. In business, they revealed, “We have minimal knowledge of the use of PFAS in cosmetics.”
Since 2019, lawmakers in the Bipartisan PFAS Task Force have been working to regulate PFAS in the United States.

Mia Davis, vice president of sustainability at Credo Beauty – one of many brands that have banned these chemicals – told the BBC that their products show “that we can make beautiful makeup without them.”
But Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu, who were former chemists at influential beauty brands and now run their own brand Chemist Confessions, which is PFAS-free, said the industry should be wary of a knee-jerk reaction to certain chemicals like PFAS, which can make unfortunate substitutions Provide if the substitute chemical has not tested.
L’Oréal told the BBC that product safety was its top priority and decided in 2018 to phase out all PFAS. A L’Oréal spokesman said: “Phase-out and substitution goals are well underway, and we have already eliminated PFAS from most of our products.”

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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