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Detection of Hidden Mercury in Cosmetic Products by Partially Cross-Linked Poly(4-vinylpyridine)/Screen-Printed Electrode *

Due to the severe toxic effects of mercury (Hg) and its derivatives, they are strictly prohibited to be used as cosmetics ingredients. Nevertheless, unknown quantities of Hg are formulated in consumer cosmetic products. We demonstrate a disposable screen-printed electrode modified with 1,5-dibromopentane partially (7%) cross-linked poly(4-vinylpyridine) (SPE/pcPVP) system for the detection of hidden concentrations of mercury, [Hg] within cosmetics goods by anodic stripping analysis in 0.01 M KCl + 0.02 M H2SO4 (1M = 1mol dm?3) solution.

The Hg2+ ion in a chloride medium transforms to [HgCl4]2?, which then selectively preconcentrate and electro-deposite as metallic mercury, Hg0 on the cationic SPE/pcPVP (PVP exist as PVP+ in pH < 5). Under optimal conditions, the calibration graph is linear in the window of 25–150 ppb, with a detection limit (S/N = 3) and regression coefficient of 3.21 ppb and 0.9909 respectively for the SPE/pcPVP. Real sample assay results for the three skin-lightening agents are evidence of the precise existence of prohibited Hg (compared with ICP-MS measurements) in the products. This article further cautions the public of Hg toxicity in cosmetics. Since the approach is low cost and disposable, it is highly suitable for unskilled electrochemists.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-29-2008
Authors: Ying Shih1),, Annamalai Senthil Kumar2),, Jyh-Myng Zen2), and Jaw-Cherng Hsu1),
Source: Received November 24, 2004