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Cosmetics Trace Elemental Content: Analytical Methodology and Toxicity Evaluation of Products in the Italian Market

Cristiana Guerranti, Costanza Andreuccetti, Isabella Cenni, , Tania Martellini, Alessandra Cincinelli, Andrea Perico
Published: 13 September 2022

Abstract: A new method for the determination of five trace metals (Pb, Co, Cd, Cr, and Ni) in make-up products was developed. Quantification of the metals was performed by inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The specificity, precision, applicability range and linearity, the minimum detection limit, repeatability, trueness, and uncertainty of the method were assessed by a top-down approach. The method was applied to 90 cosmetic products in the Italian market and only Pb and Cd were always lower than limits for cosmetic products proposed by the Istituto Superiore Sanità (Italian National Institute for Health, ISS). The metal concentrations allowed the evaluation of the risk levels of exposure to these elements. Except for a few cases, the calculated margin of safety (MOS), margin of exposure (MOE), and lifetime cancer risk (LCR) values were all below the risk threshold levels. Based on the maximum concentrations of metals determined in the cosmetics, the dose of systemic exposure (SED) ranged from 8.00 x 10−12 to 3.39 x 10−7 mg/kg/d. The risk was also described from the hazard index (HI). The metals in each cosmetic product show an MOE higher than the threshold limit except for Cr in eyeshadow.
Keywords: Cosmetic products / inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) / microwave-assisted acid digestion / safety assessment / toxic elements

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