If it’s only used in really small quantities then it wouldn’t do much. But the problem, according to some scientists (some say this is false), is if you use a lot and over a very long period of time. Mercury will build up over time in the body, so using mascara with mercury in it for a long time could eventually cause neurological damage. Most cosmetics have phased mercury out of their products though, and the allowable amount is extremely small anyway. So most likely it’s not a problem, but it’s not a bad idea to stop using mascara with mercury in it.
Mercury can cause serious neurological problems. Cosmetic products with mercury have been banned in Minnesota, and those who pushed to pass this bill are confident that it can do damage in even the tiniest amounts. “Although its presence in something like mascara doesn’t pose an immediate health risk, many toxicologists believe mercury accumulated in the body from long-term use could be dangerous.”
According to FDA, ‘Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic manifestations.’ Mercury is considered particularly toxic to the developing brain during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. FDA has banned the use of mercury compounds in all cosmetics except those used around the eyes, where levels are limited to 65 parts per million (ppm). In 2007 the use of mercury in all cosmetics was banned in Minnesota.
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