|How does one check for|
thimerosal in tattoo inks?
A little mercury can and will hurt. The American Contact Dermatitis Society awarded thimerosal the dubious title Allergen of the Year in 2002. Wikipedia describes thimerosal as being "very toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and in contact with skin (EC hazard symbol T+), with a danger of cumulative effects". According to the 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." The Environmental Working Group writes that mercury "is considered particularly toxic to the developing brain during pregnancy, infancy and childhood".
Apparantly Eyelashes Don't Count
The 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). The cosmetics industry claims the levels of mercury found in cosmetics pose little risk to human health, but I have to ask, what the heck is it doing there in the first place? Surely we've come further with consumer safety by now?
Happily, it seems that thimerosal-using cosmetics companies are not in the majority, but the fact that there are any at all is incredibly disturbing. Running into information like this makes me all the more convinced that making my own make-up is worth it!
Tip: If you're in Denmark and want to try doing your own mascara, read more here.