Mascara with carcinogenic nitrosamines

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NDR reporters find carcinogenic substances in mascara

According to an NDR research, carcinogenic pollutants have been detected in mascara. The ink is sold "quite normally" in stores. Some laboratory tests had shown that the legal limits of nitrosamines were exceeded for some products.

NDR reporters of the television documentary "The Tricks of the Cosmetics Industry" were amazed when they found out during their research that numerous mascara products are contaminated with carcinogenic substances. With the help of random samples, the goods were purchased in drugstores and perfumeries and then examined in the laboratory for ingredients. The experts found that three out of 15 samples are contaminated with the nitrosamine substances suspected of being cancerous. According to the NDR documentation, the following products are affected: “NYX, 156 micrograms / kg Bourjois, 60 micrograms / kg; Chanel, 44 micrograms / kg ".

Risk authority: Mascara must not be sold
"The EU limit for the processed raw material that is required for mascara is 50 micrograms / kg," the authors write in a press release. In two cases the values ​​were higher in the laboratory. In this context, the Federal Office for Risk Assessment (BfR) speculated that the raw materials used could already have been heavily contaminated in all three cases. For this reason, the contaminated mascara should no longer be sold in German shops. "Since the products measured levels of 44-156 micrograms / kg, it can be assumed that the limit value in the raw material was not met. The products are therefore not marketable," said the BfR.

Companies reject criticism
The companies concerned reacted very differently to requests from reporters. The manufacturer NYX "can not understand the allegations", as it was said. The renowned cosmetics manufacturer Bourjois apparently did not react at all. Chanel was the only one to comment. Here, according to the NDR, the group emphasized that "such quantities have no health effects".

Daily contact with nitrosamines is harmful to health
At first glance, this assessment is not entirely wrong. The respective quantities are not harmful to health when used individually. However, consumers come into contact with a variety of nitrosamine sources every day. For years, doctors and scientists have advised to avoid contact and intake of nitrosamines. In addition to the nitrosamine find, the documentation will also report on the effects of "anti-aging products, creams, shampos and make-ups". The program will be broadcast on NDR television next Monday at 9 p.m. (sb)

Image: Daniel Race /

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