The Mercury Problem in Cosmetic Products

For the past 10 years, the US FDA has been extremely vigilant regarding the presence of mercury in cosmetic products. During this period of time, the presence of mercury in US-manufactured products has dropped dramatically; however, the problem persists in products manufactured outside of the US and particularly those originating from the East and the far East. Of particular concern are cosmetic “anti-aging” and “skin-lightening” products, however unsafe levels of mercury have also been found in beauty and antiseptic soaps.

FDA Limit for Mercury in Cosmetic Products

FDA believes that the current maximum limit of 1 part per million (ppm) of mercury for most cosmetic products do not pose a risk to human health. Owing to FDA’s shining a light on this problem, many US digital and high-profile retailers now require their vendors to conduct testing for the presence of mercury in the products which they provide. Only those vendors who can demonstrate compliance with the current mercury FDA limit of 1 ppm are now being accepted by these retailers.

How is Mercury testing conducted?

The testing for mercury in cosmetic products requires a high level of sensitivity since the FDA maximum limit is 1 ppm. The most common technologies that are employed in testing for trace levels of mercury are Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and an array of dedicated mercury analyzers including Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence (CVAF).

How can CPT assist product vendors and retailers in testing for Mercury?

CPT℠ is a highly compliant FDA-registered GMP/GLP testing laboratory that is also ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited. You can rely upon us to provide strategic planning assistance and testing services that are appropriate for determining the level of mercury in cosmetic products and products from other susceptible categories such as foods/dietary supplements (fish oils) and drug products.

Inductively Coupled Plasma with Mass Spectrometric detection (ICP-MS) is the method employed by CPT℠ for determining low levels of mercury in raw materials, products, intermediates and packaging components.

Our team of experts in the area of low-level analyte testing stands ready to assist you in monitoring the quality of your products and the components from which they are comprised. Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with our team about getting your product tested for mercury.

Our Departments

  • Clinical —Efficacy trials can be performed for safety, consumer in-use, and to support claims, such as ‘dermatologist-tested’ and ‘ophthalmologist-tested.’
  • In-Vitro Safety — Our in-vitro safety department assists clients when they are looking to perform non-animal or animal-free toxicology testing.
  • Microbiology — Microbiological content testing, preservative challenge and water activity testing are key tests to perform for personal care/cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, nutritional supplements, etc.
  • Photobiology — From SPF and Water Resistant claims to Photo Allergy and Phototoxicity studies, CPT℠ is the world leader in sunscreen testing.
  • Analytical — From raw materials, batch release, and stability shelf-life testing to “free-of” and low-level detection claims, our analytical department ensures that all requirements are met based on industry standards.

Request a Quote for Mercury Testing