German Cosmetics Producers Received New Rules on the Use of Heavy Metals

Aug 14th, 2017

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), Germany may reduce restrictions on heavy metals in the production of personal hygiene means and cosmetics, explaining that the previous rules were outdated. On changing the restrictions, manufacturers will work under the new rules. Despite the ban of The European Union on the use of heavy metals in cosmetics, but according to BVL, certain types of substances, if they are safe, are welcomed in skin care products.

EU law has certain restrictions that regulate the application of heavy metals in the cosmetics production. But Germany may set indicative standards for the national cosmetics manufacturers, and also created a monitoring system for identifying the level of hazardous substances in cosmetic products.

The decision on new reduction of the limits was made after the conduct of regular monitoring. Under the new rules, cosmetics and toothpaste can contain: 0.5 mg antimony 0.5 arsenic, 0.1mercury, from 0.5 to 2.0 lead and 0.1 cadmium. Limit of nickel in these products is not changed – 10 mg per kg.

Rules apply to German manufacturers only. Despite this, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEB) is already considering to change the regulations of cosmetics regarding the use of heavy metals.

According to studies, heavy metals cause various damages to the skin and affect overall health. For example, some heavy metals used in beauty products are carcinogenic. Cadmium used in cosmetics is not carcinogenic, but it can cause cancer if it appears as a by-product, for example in such products like eyeliner, foundation, blush or mascara.

Research of California scientists showed that cadmium is able to accumulate even in small amounts in the breast cancer cells   inducing their activity or even aggression, depending on how long the cadmium has been impacting cells.