Beauty News. Minnesota is the First State to Ban Mercury From Cosmetics & Scents

January 3, 2008 • Beauty


Minnesota has banned mercury from cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances. The
state law, which took hold Tuesday, could result in fines of up to $700
for retailers who knowingly sell goods with mercury and up to $10,000
for manufacturers. It could also be used as leverage to get information
on mercury use in the industry.

The toxic chemical, which in the
past was used as a disinfectant and preservative, can accumulate in the
body and injure the nervous system.

Mercury is
already more or less banned from cosmetics, except for small amounts in
goods used near the eyes, which are sensitive to certain microorganisms
that mercury fights. Occasionally, however, mercury is found in
lightening skin creams. However, many in the beauty
industry do not disclose its use of mercury, even at legal levels. And
federal laws prohibit states from legislating labeling
requirements. So the only avenue that’s open to states is to
prohibit their sale. You could potentially
have a product with a very high level and there’s no oversight. There’s
no testing.

Read WWD’s "Beauty Beat: Minnesota Bans Mercury From Cosmetics, Scents"

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