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Toxic cosmetics? High level British report flags risks of fullerenes

A British Royal Commission report to be released today has called for “urgent regulation” to manage the serious toxic risks posed by nanomaterials now in commercial use. The Commission drew particular attention to the toxic risks of carbon fullerenes or ‘bucky balls’, which Friends of the Earth has found in several cosmetics and face creams now on sale in Australia. Products include: N.V. Perricone M.D. Shaving Cream, Sircuit Addict, Sircuit White Out and Dr Brandt Laser Lightning Serum.

 

The British Royal Commission has warned that carbon fullerenes – tiny soccer ball shaped nanoparticles – pose especially high toxic risks. Their use in shaving cream, cosmetics and face creams sold in Australia is therefore extremely concerning.

Scientists have demonstrated that carbon fullerenes can penetrate intact skin. There is consequently a serious risk that using fullerene-containing cosmetics will cause harm.

Investigation by Friends of the Earth has found that cosmetics sold in Australia – including by Sircuit, Dr Brandt and N.V. Perricone M.D. – are now advertised as containing fullerenes. Yet the national cosmetics regulator NICNAS appears to asleep at the wheel. It has failed to require the product manufacturers to conduct new safety tests of these high risk ingredients.

Cosmetics containing ingredients identified by the British Royal Commission as particularly high risk are now on sale in Australia without any safety assessment having been carried out by our federal cosmetics regulator. This is a major embarrassment for NICNAS.

Friends of the Earth highlighted the serious toxic risks of fullerenes over 2 years ago in our report Nanomaterials, sunscreens and cosmetics: Small ingredients, big risks. It is about time these high risk cosmetics were taken off the market.

Why not tell NICNAS to stop the sale of high risk nano-cosmetics and to start putting public health concerns ahead of those of the cosmetics industry?

Free Call 1800 638 528

Email: info@nicnas.gov.au