Makeup marketed as wear-resistant or long-lasting often contains synthetic chemicals that could pose a risk to human health and the environment, a new study co-authored by the University of Toronto's Miriam Diamond suggests.
Diamond, a professor in the department of Earth sciences in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and her colleagues studied 231 cosmetic products and found the highest concentration of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), a potentially toxic class of chemicals, in foundations, mascaras and lip products – especially those that were labelled “wear-resistant,” “long-lasting” or “waterproof.”
“What's really concerning about them is that they're highly persistent,” Diamond told CBC. "It'll stick around for years, actually. … Decades."
Scientists often refer to PFAs as “forever chemicals” because they can linger in the body for so long. They have also been linked to negative health effects such as increased cancer risk, decreased immune response and decreased fertility, according to the CBC.
The research was published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.
“We can’t afford to contaminate our drinking water as well as our bodies,” Diamond told the Canadian Press. “Is your beauty worth taking a risk with your health?”