Investigative Report

Measurement of Nickel, Cobalt and Chromium in Toy Make-up by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Monica Corazza, Federica Baldo, Antonella Pagnoni, Roberta Miscioscia and Annarosa Virgili
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0595


Cosmetics should not contain more than 5 ppm of nickel, chromium or cobalt and, in order to minimize the risk of sensitization in very sensitive subjects, the target amount should be as low as 1 ppm. However, there are no published reports on the presence of these metals in toy make-up. This study analysed 52 toy make-ups using atomic absorption spectroscopy. More than 5 ppm of nickel was present in 14/52 (26.9%) samples. Chromium exceeded 5 ppm in 28/52 (53.8%) samples, with values over 1000 ppm in 3 eye shadows. Cobalt was present in amounts over 5 ppm in 5/52 (9.6%) samples. Powdery toy make-up (eye shadows) had the highest levels of metals, and "creamy" toy make-up (lip gloss and lipsticks) the lowest. Toy make-ups are potentially sensitizing items, especially for atopic children, who have a damaged skin barrier that may favour penetration of allergens.

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