We weren’t really aware that there was a need for a law banning the use of mercury in cosmetics, but apparently Minnesota thinks there is.
Turns out that mercury sometimes finds its way into mascara and other products used around your eye, says the AP.
“Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities,” said Sen. John Marty, the Democrat from Roseville who sponsored the ban. “Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t here.”
Most makeup manufacturers have phased out the use of mercury, but it’s still added legally to some eye products as a preservative and germ-killer, said John Bailey, chief scientist with the Personal Care Products Council in Washington. That group doesn’t track mercury in beauty products and favors a national approach to regulating cosmetics, instead of laws that vary from state to state.
Federal law allows eye products to contain up to 65 parts per million of mercury. The exposure a person would get from a product used in small quantities around the eyes would not cause a problem, Bailey said.
“It’s added at very low levels, and for good reason,” he said.
Well, not in Minnesota anymore it isn’t. Retailers that “knowingly” sell cosmetics containing mercury in Minnesota will face fines of $700 and manufacturers who fail to disclose mercury could be on the hook for $10,000.