Potentially toxic makeup putting kids at risk

Applying makeup on the skin of your kids will make them susceptible to toxic material.

Children have thinner skin as compared to an adult and have lower barrier function than adults. Barrier function refers to retaining the moisture while keeping harmful materials out. Also, due to their faster metabolism, the absorption rate in children is at least 10 percent higher as compared to adults.

When children apply lipstick with dangerous chemicals, their skin will immediately absorb it, and the effects might become evident in the future. Therefore, applying makeup products on the skin of your kids will make them susceptible to toxic material.

A recent study by scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Earthjustice says that most children in the U.S. use makeup that may contain carcinogens and other harmful substances.

Glitter, face paint and lip gloss used by kids as makeup

With over 200 surveys, the study found that 79 percent of parents said their kids, aged 12 and younger, use makeup and body products including glitter, face paint, and lip gloss. The findings of the study were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Earlier studies warns that these products often contain toxic chemicals like lead, asbestos, PFAS, phthalates, and formaldehyde. The toxic chemicals found specifically in children’s makeup and body products (CMBP), such as heavy metals, appear to be particularly harmful to infants and children.

Such chemicals, whether manufacturers are adding them intentionally or they appear as contaminants, have a link to numerous health problems like cancer, neurodevelopmental harm, and other serious and irreversible health consequences.

Around 54% of the surveyed children use CMBP at least on a monthly basis. Another 12% use CMBP daily, and roughly 20% use CMBP for eight hours or more at a time. A third of children even reported unintentionally ingesting the products over the past 12 months.

Makeup products often contain toxic chemicals

Over a third of the children polled were Latino, with 65 percent of that group reporting CMBP use. Moreover, in comparison to other racial groups, Latino children reported using CMBP more often than any other demographic.

In addition to dermal exposure through the skin, behavioural patterns such as hand-to-mouth activity may increase exposure to products through unintentional ingestion. Additionally, children’s small body size, rapid growth rate, developing tissues and organs, and immature immune systems make them biologically susceptible to the effects of toxicants, senior author Julie Herbstman, director of the Columbia Centre for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, was quoted as saying in a report.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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