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Mercury in mascara? Minn. law bans it (Jan. 1, 2008)
AP on Yahoo ^ | 12/14/07 | Martiga Lohn - ap

Posted on 12/14/2007 1:59:08 PM PST by NormsRevenge

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The quest for thicker lashes and defined eyes should get safer in Minnesota on Jan. 1, when a state law banning mercury from mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams takes effect.

Minnesota apparently is the first state in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury in cosmetics, giving it a tougher standard than the federal government.

Retailers who knowingly sell mercury-containing cosmetics in Minnesota could face fines of as much as $700. Penalties could reach $10,000 for manufacturers who fail to disclose mercury on product labels, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

"Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities," said Sen. John Marty, the Democrat from Roseville who sponsored the ban. "Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn't here."

Most makeup manufacturers have phased out the use of mercury, but it's still added legally to some eye products as a preservative and germ-killer, said John Bailey, chief scientist with the Personal Care Products Council in Washington. That group doesn't track mercury in beauty products and favors a national approach to regulating cosmetics, instead of laws that vary from state to state.

Federal law allows eye products to contain up to 65 parts per million of mercury. The exposure a person would get from a product used in small quantities around the eyes would not cause a problem, Bailey said.

"It's added at very low levels, and for good reason," he said.

No other state has specifically gone after mercury in cosmetics, said Stacy Malkan with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in Berkeley, Calif. Connecticut, Rhode Island and Louisiana ban products containing more than low levels of mercury, with some exceptions. New York and Illinois prohibit consumer products with mercury, such as figurines, toys and jewelry.

"Personal care products contain many problematic chemicals," Malkan said. "Many ingredients aren't listed on the labels."

Minnesota's cosmetics provision is part of a larger ban targeting better-known sources of mercury, such as thermostats, barometers, industrial switches and medical devices. The law also covers toiletries, fragrances and over-the-counter drugs such as eye drops, nasal sprays, hemorrhoid treatments and antiseptics.

State pollution regulators said they don't know how many beauty products containing mercury are sold in Minnesota.

The new law is intended as a warning to cosmetics manufacturers not to use mercury, said John Gilkeson, with the state Pollution Control Agency's toxics reduction program. Enforcement will happen mainly when consumers complain.

Using eye makeup with mercury is unlikely to cause immediate health problems, but mercury accumulates in the body, so consumers should avoid exposure whenever possible, said Carl Herbrandson, a toxicologist with the state Health Department.

"Mercury is bad, basically in all forms that get into the body," Herbrandson said.

Mercury can retard brain development in children and fetuses, who are most vulnerable to the metal's toxic effects. But it can also cause neurological symptoms in adults.

Mercury fumes can collect inside a jar of skin cream or a tube of mascara, and a person could inhale them when the container is opened, Herbrandson said.

Imported skin-lightening creams and soaps with high levels of mercury have been found in other states; they are illegal under federal law. Herbrandson said skin products with mercury are more dangerous than mercury-containing eye makeup because people apply larger quantities to their bodies.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: bans; mascara; mercury; minnesota

1 posted on 12/14/2007 1:59:10 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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A model applies mascara in the backstage of the Emilio Pucci Spring/Summer 2008 collection in Milan, Italy, in this Thursday, Sept. 27. 2007 file photo. The quest for thicker eyelashes should get safer in Minnesota on Jan. 1, 2008 when the state bans mercury from mascara, eye liners and skin-lightening creams. The state apparently is the first in the nation to ban intentionally added mercury. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)


2 posted on 12/14/2007 2:00:09 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: NormsRevenge

I guess all those dimes I shined up in the 50’s means I should be dead by now!


3 posted on 12/14/2007 2:00:44 PM PST by rocksblues (Just enforce the law!)
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To: NormsRevenge
No offense Ladies but, would this actually keep ya’ll from using makeup?
4 posted on 12/14/2007 2:06:52 PM PST by wolfcreek (The Status Quo Sucks!)
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To: rocksblues

lol .. I remember something about that, nice and shiny. .. I sure hope folks don’t find out that them new fangled CFC bulbs have mercury in them as well and are a real pain not to mention a health hazard if broken. You’re talking HazMat if ya break one.


5 posted on 12/14/2007 2:09:53 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: rocksblues

That’s silver, not mercury.

But you might want to have your dental fillings replaced if they contain mercury (so-called silver fillings).


6 posted on 12/14/2007 2:12:48 PM PST by Kenny500c
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To: NormsRevenge

OMG!

Please don’t change my mascara. I have enough problems in my world.


7 posted on 12/14/2007 2:13:50 PM PST by netmilsmom (Financing James Marsden's kid's college fund, 1 ticket, 1 DVD at a time.)
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To: NormsRevenge

What is this superstitious fear of mercury? Years ago, I was working in a lab where they were recycling contaminated mercury, and I was in the presence of several tons of it at one time. The cleaning process consisted of drawing air through a large aspirator flask, hooked up to a water-powered aspiration hose, under a rinse of first sodium hydroxide solution, then a nitric acid solution, for a series of procedures that took a full week to complete, changing the cleaning solution daily. There was occasion for me to plunge my arm (in an industrial glove) into the pool of mercury, and it has tremendous pressure just a few inches below the surface. Rocks or bricks float on mercury like Styrofoam on water. It takes considerable effort to force your arm down into a pool of mercury.

This, of course, was before the days of OHSA, and I wasn’t even wearing a respirator mask. So I must have inhaled a LOT of mercury vapor.

Now it is some forty years later. What’s the problem?


8 posted on 12/14/2007 2:14:16 PM PST by alloysteel (Ignorance is no handicap for some people in a debate. They just get more shrill.)
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To: rocksblues

Sorry, I get it now “Mercury dimes”!


9 posted on 12/14/2007 2:16:34 PM PST by Kenny500c
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To: wolfcreek

You can have my mascara when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers (does this answer your question??)


10 posted on 12/14/2007 2:16:56 PM PST by najida (Will you dance at my birthday party?)
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To: Kenny500c; rocksblues
That’s silver, not mercury.

When I was a kid in the '50s, I used to coat silver dimes with mercury. It made 'em slippery.

11 posted on 12/14/2007 2:21:26 PM PST by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Kenny500c

We broke thermometers and shined up dimes, quarters etc.


12 posted on 12/14/2007 2:52:05 PM PST by rocksblues (Just enforce the law!)
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To: alloysteel

“What’s the problem?”

It’s a known fact that constant exposure to Hg causes severe bouts of procrastination.

You’ve been a FReeper for over 7 years and still haven’t created an “About” page. I rest my case.

J/k


13 posted on 12/14/2007 3:41:13 PM PST by Former War Criminal
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To: alloysteel

“What’s the problem?”

It’s a known fact that constant exposure to Hg causes severe bouts of procrastination.

You’ve been a FReeper for over 7 years and still haven’t created an “About” page. I rest my case.

J/k


14 posted on 12/14/2007 3:41:15 PM PST by Former War Criminal
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To: Former War Criminal

It’s also known to cause an itchy trigger finger.


15 posted on 12/14/2007 3:43:47 PM PST by Former War Criminal
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To: NormsRevenge

He's been dead for over 16 years, can't they just leave Freddie alone?

16 posted on 12/14/2007 3:45:11 PM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
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To: najida

“(does this answer your question??)”

Grew up in a house with a Grandmother, mother and sister. I’m married with a wife and 2 daughters.

I had little doubt what the answer would be..


17 posted on 12/15/2007 11:36:31 AM PST by wolfcreek (The Status Quo Sucks!)
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