Global Ban on Mercury Exempts Mascara and Eye Makeup
Mercury is used in trace amounts in eye makeup as a preservative. The treaty exempts eye area cosmetics from the list because “no effective, safe substitute alternatives are available,” according to the signed treaty.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
The Minamata Convention for Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury and is designed to limit mercury use and emissions internationally. The treaty was agreed to on Oct. 10 after four years of negotiations and was signed by delegates of about 140 nations.
The United Nations Environment Programme says the intent of the ban is to eliminate cosmetics like skin-lightening cream and others that contain large concentrations of mercury and have been shown to cause kidney damage in women.
Joanna Tempowski, a scientist for the World Health Organization’s International Program on Chemical Safety told Environmental Health News that mercury is added to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi that could infect and damage the eye, noting that “the risk-benefit analysis favors the use of these preservatives.”
The Food and Drug Administration allows mercury in eye cosmetics at concentrations of up to 65 parts per million.
Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database provides practical solutions for people to protect themselves and their family from everyday exposures to chemicals. Environmental Working Group launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products on more than 78,000 items.
Want to find some chemical- and cruelty-free mascaras? Here's a list complied by One Green Planet:
1. Beauty Without Cruelty
A full-volume mascara that helps to define and separate each individual lash, it is long-lasting and smudge-resistant.
2. Ecco Bella
This mascara is gentle and water-resistant (but not waterproof) and perfect for sensitive eyes. In addition it is easy to remove and comes with its own mirror.
This clump-free and quick-drying mascara helps to achieve fuller, longer and thicker lashes without flaking or smudging.
4. Emani Minerals
A natural soy-based mascara, it nourishes, repairs and strengthens lashes. It is especially long-lasting and smudge-resistant, and is easy to remove.
5. Gabriel Cosmetics
This mascara is gentle and non-irritating, enriched with herbal extracts and minerals to help protect eyelashes. It is all-natural and is suitable for use by contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.
6. Honeybee Gardens
This botanically-enriched mascara is long-lasting, providing all-day colour without clumping, flakingor smudging. In addition it is water-resistant, but not waterproof.
A lengthening and volumizing mascara, this helps to nourish eyelashes with extracts of organic jojoba and wild rose oils. It offers long-lasting colour and volume, without flaking or smudging.
This mascara contains jojoba oil, minerals and vitamin E to enhance lash growth. It defines and separates each lash, and is perfect for those with sensitive eyes.
9. Organic Wear
Helping to create dramatic, full and thick lashes this mascara is 100 percent natural. It doesn’t clump, flake or smudge and is long-lasting, coating lashes without breaking or drying them out.
10. 100% Pure
An excellent 100 percent natural mascara that lengthens, separates and thickens lashes with fruit and tea pigments. Suitable for those who wear contact lenses or have sensitive eyes, it is also smudge- and water-resistant.
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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