The study quantitatively estimated heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Co and Fe) using flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) in 6 popular locally used facial cosmetic products sold in Nigerian market. The results indicate that the toxic heavy metals in all the samples were below the WHO permissible limits for cosmetic products. Fe, though non toxic, was found in levels much higher than the permissible limit. Continuous use and possible unintended ingestion of these toxic heavy metals, though in low levels in the cosmetics, may pose potential health risk due to their bio- accumulation in body organs. Ensuring strict adherence to regulatory guidelines is recommended for facial cosmetic products accompanied by routine analytical checks.


1.1 Background

The adverse effects of heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pd), mercury (Hg), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and nickel (Ni) are documented (Duruibe et al., 2007; Banfalvi, 2011). Heavy metals toxicity can result to damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy concentration and damage to blood composition, lungs, liver, kidneys and other vital organs (Linnila, 2000). Repeated long term contact with some of these heavy metals or their compounds may cause cancer, contact dermatitis and skin irritation which are caused by Cr, Ni and Co (Linnila, 2000; Omolaoye et al., 2010).Their exposure however, continues and is even increasing particularly in less developed countries (Jarup, 2003).
Cosmetics are substances that are rubbed, poured, sprinkled or introduced into the human body for purposes of cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness or altering appearance (Kasture et al., 2008). The use of cosmetics is widely spread for routine body care including the care of skin, hair, nails and teeth (Chauhan et al., 2010). A wide range of cosmetic products exist including creams, emulsions, lotions, gels, oils, face masks, tinted bases, make up powders, toilet soaps, perfumes, shower and bath preparations, deodorants and antiperspirants, depilatories, hair care products and shaving products (Anton, 2005). Depending on the ingredients with which they are made from, cosmetics can either be herbal (those of natural origin and are made of ingredients that are gentler and less likely to be harmful) or synthetic (those which are conventional and made of ingredients likely to be harmful) (Conors and Altshuler, 2009). Among the most commonly used skin cosmetics are those made of ingredients such as formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing ingredients, hydroquinone, parabens and phthalates which could be harmful to human body (Baumann, 2009).
There are a number of herbal cosmetics in use with the most preferred ones being Aloe vera, neem and olive oil. These are more preferred because they are mild, biodegradable and have low toxicity profile (Chanchal et al., 2008). Neem is the most useful traditional medicinal plant (Imam et al., 2012).  It contains active compounds among them alkaloids, lavonoids, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds,carotenoids, steroids and ketones (Imam et al., 2012). It has been found to be useful in personal care products such as skin care, nail care and hair care among others (Imam et al., 2012). Other uses of neem are therapeutic and medicinal. Therapeutic uses include treating scalp conditions such as dandruff, acne, nail fungus and restoring brittle nails and also fungal infections such as ringworms, infected sores and burns. Neem also provides relieve for skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis as well as healing of wounds, (Debjit et al., 2010). Among the medicinal uses are anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antimalarial,
antiarthritic,spermicidal, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective and antioxidant which are brought about by compounds that have a biological activity. The compounds include salannin, volatile oils, meliantriol, nimbin,nimbinin,nimbidol and tannin (Debjit et al., 2010; Imam et al., 2012). Olive oil is another herb used in pharmacy, as antiinfammatory as well as antioxidants due to the presence of phenolic compounds, triterpenes and mannitol among others. (PĂ©rez et al., 2005)

1.2 Problem statement and justification

The fears of dangers of heavy metals especially if concentration are above the maximum permissible WHO limits in any product continue to rise. While there are a number of sources, research points out to one possible avenue being the use of cosmetics. In China for example, cosmetics were recalled for having concentration of heavy metals being higher than the permissible concentration. The issue of heavy metals as deliberate facial cosmetics ingredients may have been given attention but these could still be found as impurities and hence cause threats as some toxic elements and/or their compounds are water-soluble and can be absorbed on moist skin. On the other hand, it is worthy to note that both herbal and synthetic skin cosmetics (lotions, creams and soaps) have gained increased use worldwide. Continuous use and as well a combination of cosmetics therefore may result into the numerous dangers of heavy metals. Currently, there is no documentation on the concentration of heavy metals in facial cosmetic cosmetics found in the Nigerian market and therefore it is important that this is re-ascertained in the products.
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the concentration of heavy metals  Presents in facial cosmetics; but for the successful completion of the study the researcher intend to achieve the following objectives;
i)                    To ascertain the concentration of heavy metals presents in facial cosmetics
ii)                  To investigate the health impact of heavy metals presents on facial cosmetics.
iii)                To proffer solution to the identified problems

1.4               RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of study the following research hypotheses are formulated by the researcher;
H0:heavy metal present in facial cosmetics does not have any impact on the health of Lagosian
H2:heavy metal presents in facial cosmetics does have a significant impact on the health of Lagosian.

It is believed that at the completion of this study, the findings will be of great importance to the pharmaceutical industry as the study will seek to enumerate the impact of heavy metal present in facial cosmetics on individuals. The study will also be of great importance to the inhabitant of Lagos metropolis as the study seeks to enumerate the patronization of facial cosmetics with heavy metals presents. The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on research in similar topic;finally the findings of this study will also be immense benefit to government, academia, scholars, researchers and the general public.

The scope of the study covers the concentration of heavy metals presents in facial cosmetics in Lagos state, Nigeria. But in the course of the study there are some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a)     AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material      available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
b)     TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider         coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities        and examinations with the study.
c)     FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not     allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the        researcher has other academic bills to cover


        This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc. Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.     Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 48 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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