Health Canada: Guidance on Heavy Metal Impurities in Cosmetics
Many heavy metals are not acceptable as ingredients in cosmetic products sold in Canada as they may cause injury to the health of the user, which is in contravention of the general prohibition found in section 16 of the Food and Drugs Act. Yet they may still be found in cosmetics as impurities due to the persistent nature of these substances and the fact that they are found in the natural environment. The purpose of this guidance is to determine and communicate appropriate limits of these impurities in cosmetic products. The focus is on the heavy metals with known significant toxicological properties: lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and antimony.
This document is not intended to substitute for, supersede or limit the requirements under the legislation. In case of any discrepancy between this summary and the legislation, the legislation will prevail. In addition, other laws, whether federal, provincial or territorial, may also apply to the products that are covered by this guidance document.