The Determination of Toxic Metals in some Traditional Cosmetic Products and Health Risk Assessment

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2021 Jun;199(6):2272-2277. doi: 10.1007/s12011-020-02357-8. Epub 2020 Sep 5.


In present study, the levels of some toxic elements in 19 different home-made cosmetic products (spray hair dye, henna, tattoo, eyeliner, eye mascara, smear, lip moisturizer, and lipstick) were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric (ICP-MS) after microwave digestion. The ICP-MS results were verified by the analyzing certificated reference material (EnviroMAT Drinking Water, High).The detection limit (LOD) was set from 0.1 to 0.2 and the quantification limit (LOQ) from 0.2 to 0.8 μg L-1 and the recoveries estimated from 99% to 109%. The relative standard deviation (RSD) (%) for elements was determined in the range of 0.9 and 2.1%. Although various concentrations of arsenic (As),cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), cupper (Cu), and nickel (Ni) were determined in some samples, lead (Pb) concentration was found in all the samples. Data obtained were compared with the permissible limit of cosmetic products by the WHO. The concentration of Pb in smear samples was higher than the permitted limit created by the WHO, and Ni concentration in the some samples exceeds the limit set by the WHO. The rank order of toxic elements based on THQ index was Cr > Pb > Ni. The potential non-carcinogenic was considerably lower than the safe risk limits (THQ > 1).

Keywords: Cosmetics; ICP-MS; Risk assessment; Toxic metals.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic* / analysis
  • Arsenic* / toxicity
  • Cadmium / analysis
  • Cosmetics* / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Metals, Heavy* / toxicity
  • Risk Assessment


  • Cosmetics
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Cadmium
  • Arsenic