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Minnesota bans use of mercury in cosmetic products

Article-Minnesota bans use of mercury in cosmetic products

St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota has become the first state to ban mercury as an ingredient in beauty products, reports news source

This follows the 2005 action taken by California lawmakers that required manufacturers to disclose ingredients that are known by the state to cause cancer or birth defects. These kinds of legal actions force manufacturers to adapt to varying laws in different states.

Both actions reflect growing concern over weak federal regulations. The Minnesota law makes it illegal to sell or distribute cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances containing mercury within state borders.

Mercury can cause neurological damage but is used legally in small amounts in some products as a preservative and germ killer. Under federal law, cosmetics can contain up to 65 parts per million of mercury.

Under the new Minnesota law, cosmetics manufacturers will face penalties of as much as $10,000 for failing to disclose mercury on product labels, and retailers found selling cosmetics containing the metal could receive fines of up to $700.

The state-wide ban on mercury in cosmetics is part of larger ban in Minnesota on the use of the metal in consumer products including barometers, medical devices and over-the-counter drugs.

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