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Author Topic: Heavy metals found in kids' face paints  (Read 1693 times)

Offline CareDC

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Heavy metals found in kids' face paints
« on: February 02, 2009, 06:37:00 PM »
Health Canada has found heavy metals in children's face paints exceeding the government's own proposed impurity limits, but can't take action because the standards aren't in place yet, internal documents show.

The levels of lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium or antimony found in products during routine testing of children's face paints are considered unacceptable in other jurisdictions, according to the department. The Health Canada survey is still ongoing, and so far three products have been flagged for exceeding the proposed limits.

In addition to updating Canada's cosmetics policy to be more "in line" with other jurisdictions, Health Canada reviewed established tolerable levels to set proposed impurity limits.

The department settled on the levels to provide a "high level of protection" to susceptible segments of consumers like children, states Health Canada's draft policy.

These heavy metals, which the department identifies as "known significant toxicological properties," are prohibited as ingredients in cosmetic products sold in Canada, but they find their way in some makeup and face paints through trace amounts in raw materials.

The metals can be highly toxic to the brain, kidney or the nervous, reproductive or immune systems. Cadmium is also classified as a human carcinogen.

In the case of arsenic, mercury and cadmium, Health Canada is proposing an impurity limit of three parts per million (ppm). The threshold for cadmium will be five ppm and 10 ppm for lead.

In a statement, the department said there is no health risk to children or others because the limits are for "quality purposes and are well below levels that may present a health concern, according to current international standards."


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