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Chromium, nickel, and cobalt in cosmetic matrices: an integrated bioanalytical characterization through total content, bioaccessibility, and Cr(III)/Cr(VI) speciation

Bruzzoniti, Maria Concetta, Abollino, Ornella, Pazzi, Marco, Rivoira, Luca, Giacomino, Agnese, Vincenti, Marco
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2017 v.409 no.29 pp. 6831-6841
bioavailability, chromatography, chromium, cobalt, cosmetics, iron oxides, leaching, nickel, pigments, raw materials, risk characterization, spectroscopy, sweat
The presence of certain metals naturally contained inside raw materials (e.g., pigments) used to produce cosmetics for make-up may represent a serious concern for the final quality and safety of the product. The knowledge of the total concentration of metals is not sufficient to predict their reactivity and their toxicological profile. For these reasons, we set up a comprehensive approach to characterize the content of Co, Cr, and Ni in two raw materials for cosmetic production, a black iron oxide and a pearly pigment, and in a finished product, pearly powder eye shadow. Namely, besides the total metal concentrations, the speciation of chromium and the bioaccessibility of the three metals were assessed. Since no standard method is so far available for hexavalent chromium extraction from cosmetic samples, three approaches were compared (EPA 3060A method, IRSA 16 method, and a Na₃PO₄ extraction). Results show that Na₃PO₄ extraction is the most selective one. Cr(VI) was undetectable in black iron oxide and present at very low concentrations (about 0.3 mg/kg) in pearly pigment and in the pearly powder eye shadow samples. The extracted Cr(VI) concentrations are not related to the total Cr content in the samples. Bioaccessibility studies were performed by in vitro extractions with synthetic lacrimal fluids and sweat. Despite the wide range of metal concentrations in the samples, the amounts of bioaccessible elements were undetectable or very low (less than 0.4 mg/kg), thus suggesting that metals in the three samples are present in inert forms. Graphical abstract The possible leaching of metals from cosmetics to biological fluids. Spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques provide complementary information for an integrated bioanalytical approach to risk characterization.