A new study released Tuesday is shedding light on harmful chemicals known as PFAS and how much of them exist in cosmetics. In light of the study, Sen. Richard Blumenthal is now calling on a ban of PFAS in personal care products.
"This new paper really hit us over the head with how products that we directly put on our bodies and can get into our bodies especially through our mouths or our eyes," Linda Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus and former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science and National Toxicology Program said.
The research lead by the University of Notre Dame studied 231 cosmetics including mascara, foundation and liquid lipstick.
"We found that PFAS used in cosmetics was fairly widespread," Professor Graham Peaslee of the University of Notre Dame explained.
The cosmetic categories that had the highest percentage of high fluorine products were foundations (63%), eye products (58%), mascaras (47%), and lip products (55%).
Peaslee, says less than 8% of the products had PFAS listed on their labels, yet more half of them contained the harmful chemical.
"That means that the products in North America are not being labeled so that a consumer can find out how to avoid them," he said. "If you wanted to avoid PFAS products it wouldn’t be possible with the current labeling."
Birnhbaum says the potential severe health effects of PFAS are growing.
"They include effects on kidney cancer, testicular has cancer and other types as well in addition we are seeing effects on liver function with elevated cholesterol," she said.
In cosmetics there is nothing safe and there’s nothing good about PFAS chemicals," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said.
Blumenthal joined U.S Representative Debbie Dingell from Michigan Tuesday to call for a ban on PFAS in cosmetics.
"We need to sound the alarm will sound the alarms are consumers should be as outraged as we all should be," Blumenthal said.
Scientists and lawmakers now hoping the research will hold cosmetic manufacturers more accountable.