2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


ABDEL-FATTAH, Ahmad N. and SCHULTZ-MAKUCH, Dirk, Geological Sciences, Univ of Texsa at El Paso, 500 West University Ave, El Paso, TX 79968-0555, anfattah@utep.edu

There is much environmental concern regarding heavy metals content in cosmetics and naturally occurring materials that are being used worldwide as facial masks. Black mud deposits in some places around the world, such as the Dead Sea black mud from Jordan and Israel, is one example of those naturally occurring cosmetics that can be applied directly to the face as masks or applied to the skin to treat certain types of skin diseases, mainly Psoriasis. The main purpose of this study was to analyze one commercial facial mask from the Jordanian market (used widely in USA) and four field mud samples collected from three different locations along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan for concentrations of the most important group of heavy metals of lead, cadmium, copper, chromium, mercury, and arsenic in the surface horizons of the mud.

Results of the Direct Current Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (DCP-AES) analysis of the heavy metals concentration (ppm) in the samples are presented. No special enrichment of heavy metals in the mud was noticed. But since there are no internationally or locally used heavy metals regulations for cosmetics until the date of preparing this paper, we could not have a solid statement for possible heavy metal pollution in the mud, emphasizing on lead, which had an average content of 50 ppm in the analyzed samples.

It turned out that the authority of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over cosmetics does not guarantee safe mud-based facial masks. FDA is only able to regulate cosmetics after products are released to the marketplace. Neither cosmetic products nor cosmetic ingredients are reviewed or approved by FDA before they are sold to the public. Moreover, FDA cannot require companies to do safety testing of their cosmetic products before marketing.