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Toxic chemicals in more than 100 popular make-up products

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manufactured chemicals containing 9,000 different compounds that have been around since the 1940s. PFAS do not break down and accumulate in the environment and human body over time.

The substances persist for long periods of time, hence the nickname "forever chemicals." They are linked to severe health effects such as cancer, hormone disruptions, weakened immune systems, and low birth weights.

The toxic chemicals are found in various everyday consumer products, including non-stick cookware, pizza boxes, stain repellants—and even cosmetics, according to a new study published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

More than half of all cosmetics tested in the study contained high levels of toxic Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), reports Mathew Daly for the Associated Press. The study is the first to screen cosmetics for the total amount of PFAS present in make-up.

Full Smithsonian mag article

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