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Metal Allergy pp 177-196 | Cite as

Metals in Cosmetics

  • Malgorzata M. Brzóska
  • Malgorzata Galażyn-Sidorczuk
  • Sylwia Borowska
Chapter

Abstract

Cosmetic products contain numerous metals used as pigments, UV filters, preservatives, antiperspirants, and antimicrobial agents, as well as occurring as unintentional pollutants, and therefore represent a significant source of metal exposure. These include among others the metal allergens (e.g., nickel, chromium, and cobalt), as well as metals characterized by a high toxicity (e.g., cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic). Allergic skin reactions are the most commonly occurring reactions to metals present in cosmetics, with nickel the most important metal allergen. Cosmetics belong to the group of household products that most often cause allergic reactions, but until now insufficient attention has been paid to the allergenic potential of metals in these preparations. The possible presence of metals in cosmetics, including those capable of inducing allergic reactions, in conjunction with reports of allergy due to the presence of metals at low concentrations (below 1 μg/g), shows that the limits of metals recognized as “unavoidable impurities” should be defined and efforts undertaken to reduce the content of metals in cosmetics. Individuals who are allergic to metals should avoid using products containing them. This chapter provides an overview of cosmetics as a source of exposure to metals, with particular emphasis on metal allergens, to bring more attention to the health threat related to the presence of these metals in cosmetics.

Keywords

Cosmetics Allergen metals Nickel Chromium Cobalt Allergic contact dermatitis 

Abbreviations

Ag

Silver

Al

Aluminum

As

Arsenic

Au

Gold

Be

Beryllium

Cd

Cadmium

Co

Cobalt

Cr

Chromium

Cu

Copper

EU

European Union

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

Fe

Iron

Hg

Mercury

Ni

Nickel

Pb

Lead

Pd

Palladium

Pt

Platinum

Sb

Antimony

Sn

Tin

Sr

Strontium

Ti

Titanium

Tl

Thallium

Zn

Zinc

Zr

Zirconium

Notes

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malgorzata M. Brzóska
    • 1
  • Malgorzata Galażyn-Sidorczuk
    • 1
  • Sylwia Borowska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ToxicologyMedical University of BialystokBialystokPoland

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