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Abd El-Aziz et al  

Full Length Research Paper

Health Risk Assessment of Some Heavy Metals in Cosmetics in Common Use


Raina Abd El-Aziz, Mostafa M.S. Abbassy, Gihan Hosny*


Division of Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Studies, Institute of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Alexandria, Egypt.

Corresponding author email: gihan1hosny@gmail.com; hosny_gihan@yahoo.com;Tel: (+203) 4295007; Fax: (+203)4285792

Received September 13, 2017; Accepted September 22, 2017



There have been a number of recent reports discussing the presence of heavy metals in cosmetics. Therefore, the present study was planned to assess the health risk due to exposure to heavy metals in various brands of cosmetics sold in low price stores in Alexandria market, Egypt. Nine heavy metal contents were measured in 20 different cosmetics commonly used in Alexandria using the atomic absorption spectrometry and cold vapor unit for Hg after wet digestion procedure. The mean concentrations of metals in these facial cosmetics ranged from ND-80.8 µg/g Cd, 81.7-159.1 µg/g Pb, 38.9-67.2 µg/g Cr, 17.4 -41.5 µg/g Ni, 8.9-32 µg/g Cu, ND-0.025 µg/g Hg, 255.8-1192 µg/g Fe, 4.7-314 µg/g Mn, and from 5.72-110.8 µg/g Zn. The concentrations of Ni, Cr, Pb and Cd were above the suggested safe limit for skin protection. The systemic exposure dosage (SED) values for these metals acquired from the personal care products were below their respective international standard values. The margin of safety values obtained were greater than 100, indicating that the concentrations of metals investigated in these facial cosmetic exert no risk associated with their occurrence in these products. The maximum value of oral cancer risk was detected in cream and the minimum value in eye pencils.

Keywords: Heavy metals, Health risk assessment, Cosmetic products.


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