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Lipsticks sold in Manila found to contain hazardous chemicals.

Manila: Tests conducted on various brands of lipsticks sold on the sidewalks and low-end commercial establishments in the Philippines capital showed that some of these products contained chemicals that could cause birth defects.

The environmental watchdog, EcoWaste Coalition, said that based on chemical analysis conducted on 45 samples of lipsticks representing 22 brands, 13 or almost 30 per cent contained hazardous chemical ingredients such as arsenic, lead and mercury.

"Arsenic, lead and mercury are some of the chemicals of high concern that should be eliminated from usage, especially in consumer products, to prevent and reduce their adverse effects on human health and the environment," Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, said.

"Pregnant or lactating women may expose developing foetuses and infants to the risk of toxic metal poisoning when they use these tainted products," she warned.

Lucero said that babies of mothers exposed to hazardous chemicals are born "pre-polluted" as indicated by studies that showed nearly 300 contaminants in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Among the pollutants found were agricultural and industrial toxins, waste incineration by-products and chemicals commonly used in cosmetics, personal care and household products.

Most of the lipstick brands identified by EcoWaste Coalition to contain hazardous chemicals and elements are those made in China such as Baolishi, Shijing, Ling Mei, and Miss Beauty.

According to the environmental watchdog, cosmetics manufacturers must ensure that their products do not present any risk to consumer health, including the health of the unborn babies, and that toxic metals and other chemicals of concern should be replaced with non-hazardous substitutes in line with the precautionary and preventive principles.

EcoWaste said that exposure to toxic metals had been linked to several serious health problems such as reproductive defects, developmental maladies, neurological and behavioural difficulties, endocrine disorders and cancer.

The group said consumers are entitled to proper information on the products they use.

"This will further hammer home the point that cosmetics should be safe from toxic metals and other contaminants and that manufacturers should switch to clean production," Lucero said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 12, 2013
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