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Dangerous beauty products

Recently, warnings went out to women using certain skin lightening products to alert them that the products may contain mercury. So far, the warnings affect seven states other than Florida. It is a good reminder, however, that there are many products that people use every day that may be unsafe. A dangerous or toxic product can make a person very sick or cause permanent, or fatal, damage.

An insightful report on potentially harmful beauty products highlights five of the latest beauty alerts. As mentioned, mercury was found in imported skin lightening and anti-aging creams. Even though no reports of them were in Florida, it may be a good idea for consumers to check product labels for mercury just to be safe. Mercury poisoning can be very serious.

Like mercury poisoning, lead poisoning is very dangerous. This is why it was disturbing to learn that recent Food and Drug Administration studies have shown that 100 percent of lipsticks they tested contained lead. Even so-called natural brands were tainted with unsafe levels of lead.

Mascara can dangerous if users do not discard the product within three months of purchase. The preservatives in the mascara are designed to protect against bacteria for only a few months. After that, fungi and bacteria can form and breed which puts users in danger. Defective mascaras start deteriorating before they are three months old, though.

Two newer hazards include formaldehyde in hair straightening products and mica in mineral makeup. For both of these dangers, the risk may be relatively low, but the users should be careful. Ingesting formaldehyde and mica can cause cancers and lung damage. Consumers who use either product very frequently are at an elevated risk.

People are using these products every day. Sometimes it can be easy for dismiss or forget about the risks in order to look good, but any dangerous products should be removed from the marketplace. Those who have gotten sick or been injured after using a defective or hazardous product may want to seek financial compensation from the party responsible.

Source: Forbes, "Dangerous Beauty: 5 Scariest Beauty Products," Melanie Haiken, March 12, 2012

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