High metal content in some fairness products, claims study

09:25:00


NEW DELHI: Fairness products of some leading companies may be containing high amount of heavy metals, including mercury, which is harmful for human beings, according to a NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The CSE, citing a study conducted by it, claimed that the heavy metals have been found in the products of Procter & Gamble (P&G), Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and L'Oreal.

HUL and L'Oreal rejected CSE's contention while P&G did not have an immediate response when contacted for a reaction.

The CSE said that despite the prohibition of use of mercury in cosmetics in India, its study found mercury in 44 per cent of the fairness creams it tested.

It claimed to have found mercury level of 1.79 ppm (parts per million) in Olay Natural White of Procter and Gamble (P&G) and 1.36 ppm in the Ponds White Beauty of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).

"We wish to categorically clarify that we do not add Mercury in our cosmetic products. Like all Unilever cosmetic products, all Pond's products (including Ponds White Beauty) are safe - with no added mercury and manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices and in line with BIS and US FDA limits on trace metals," HUL spokesperson said.

CSE also claimed to have found 0.57 ppm to 9.18 ppm nickel in 13 out of 30 products.

It found highest concentration in LancomeLabsolu Nu-204 of L'Oreal India, which was denied by the French cosmetic giant.

"Lancome's highest priority is the safety of its consumers. We do not use heavy metals as ingredients in our products and comply fully with Indian and International cosmetic regulations," said a spokesperson of Lancome, the parent company of L'Oreal.

CSE said the study also found chromium in 50 per cent and nickel in 43 per cent of the lipstick samples it tested. The lab also tested for lead and cadmium, but did not find any.

"Mercury is not supposed to be present in cosmetic products. Their mere presence in these products is completely illegal and unlawful," CSE director general Sunita Narain said.
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