Makeup products may contain potentially toxic PFAS chemicals, study warns

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A new study is warning that people who wear makeup may be unknowingly absorbing potentially toxic chemicals into their bodies. In a study published Tuesday in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, researchers found high fluorine levels, which indicates the probable presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in most waterproof mascara, liquid lipsticks and foundations that were tested.

The products with the highest fluorine levels underwent further testing, wherein researchers confirmed the presence of at least four PFAS of concern. The findings are important for consumers, the team from the Green Science Policy Institutes says, because the majority of the products including those confirmed to have PFAS did not list any on the label.

PFAS are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water, according to the CDC. They can be found in clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, non-stick cookware, and the insulation of electrical wire. PFAS have also been found in rivers and lakes and both water and land animals.

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