Assessment of metals in cosmetics commonly used in Saudi Arabia.
Cosmetics are one of the most important sources of releasing heavy metals. Different varieties of chemicals are used in cosmetic products as ingredients and some are used as preservatives. There are concerns regarding the presence of harmful chemicals in these products. Among the harmful chemicals, cosmetic products contain heavy metals. The present study was conducted to determine the content of certain heavy metals in the products made in different countries and marketed in Saudi Arabia. Thirty-one products of different brands or misbrands of commonly used cosmetic products (hair cream, beauty cream, skin cream, hair food formula, hair gel, whitening daily scrub, shampoo, shower gel, body care, body lotion, hand wash, daily fairness, shaving cream, toothpaste, germ and beauty soap, and cream soap) were purchased from local markets of Saudi Arabia. Samples were analyzed to determine the concentrations of ten metals (lead, aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, mercury, and arsenic) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). Based on the maximum concentrations, the heavy metal contents were arranged in the following decreasing order: Al > Cu > Mn > Pb > Cr > Ni > Hg > Co > As > Cd in cream products, Al > Pb > Cu > Cr > Mn > Ni > Hg > As > Co > Cd in shampoo products, Al > Cu > Pb > Cr > Mn > Ni > As > Co > Hg > Cd in soap products, and Al > Cu > Mn > Pb > Cr > Co > Ni > Cd > As > Hg in toothpaste products. Since the metal concentrations may relate to specific brands, product type, color, or cost, industrialist would have to check the raw materials before they are gathered into the final products to track the source of these contaminants.
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