Article of Interest: Use of PFAS in Cosmetics ‘Widespread’

pfas chemicals in cosmetics make-up

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Use of PFAS in Cosmetics ‘Widespread,’ Says New Study” from Notre Dame News.

Many cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada likely contain high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals linked to a number of serious health conditions, according to new research from the University of Notre Dame.
Scientists tested more than 200 cosmetics including concealers, foundations, eye and eyebrow products and various lip products. According to the study, 56 percent of foundations and eye products, 48 percent of lip products and 47 percent of mascaras tested were found to contain high levels of fluorine, which is an indicator of PFAS use in the product. The study was recently published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters.
“These results are particularly concerning when you consider the risk of exposure to the consumer combined with the size and scale of a multibillion-dollar industry that provides these products to millions of consumers daily,” Graham Peaslee, professor of physics at Notre Dame and principal investigator of the study, said.

View the full article from Notre Dame News.

This is important for people who experience chemical intolerance, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“Chemically intolerant individuals experience adverse reactions to many cosmetics and personal care products, including nail polishes, glues used for artificial eyelashes or nails, hairdressing chemicals, and avoid wearing or using fragrances on themselves or in their homes, for example, scented candles, room air sprays, FEDs (fragrance emitting devices), and scented cleaning or laundry products,” Miller said. “Some first notice feeling ill after painting or remodeling their homes, after an exterminator applies pesticides, or after using bleach or other disinfectants.”

Fortunately, you can create a clean air oasis at home.

You can also find out just how chemically sensitive you might be.

Just answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  • Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  • Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  • Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

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