Friday December 6, 2019

Make-up Products Contain Dangerous Bacteria: Study

Life-threatening bacteria found in Make-up products

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Make-up products
Our daily make-up products are contaminated with dangerous superbugs. Pixabay

The vast majority of in-use make-up products such as beauty blenders, mascara and lip gloss are contaminated with potentially life threatening superbugs, researchers have warned.

“Make-up products used every day by millions of people in the UK are contaminated with potentially deadly bugs, such as E.coli and Staphylococci, because most are not being cleaned and are used far beyond their expiry dates,” said study lead author Amreen Bashir from Aston University in the US.

According to the study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology, bacteria that can cause illnesses ranging from skin infections to blood poisoning if used near eyes, mouth or cuts or grazes were found in nine out of ten of the products.

This risk is amplified in immunocompromised people who are more likely to contract infections from opportunistic bacteria.

The relatively new beauty blenders – sponges used to apply skin foundation products – were found to have the highest levels of potentially harmful bacteria – with the vast majority (93 per cent) not having ever been cleaned, despite more than two thirds (64 per cent) being dropped on the floor at some point during use.

The research looked at beauty blender products – hugely popular make-up sponges used to blend foundation and contouring on the face.

Make-up products hygiene
The make-up products are contaminated by bacteria due to poor hygiene. Pixabay

Often endorsed by celebrities, these sponges are estimated to have sold over 6.5 million worldwide.

The researchers found these products are particularly susceptible to contamination as they are often left damp after use, which creates an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

“Consumers’ poor hygiene practices when it comes to using make-up, especially beauty blenders, is very worrying when you consider that we found bacteria such as E.coli – which is linked with faecal contamination – breeding on the products we tested,” Bashir said.

The findings reveal that consumers are unwittingly putting themselves at risk, and that manufacturers and regulatory bodies should do more to protect their customers by making expiry dates and cleaning requirements more prominent on packaging.

EU guidance holds make-up brands to strict hygiene standards of manufacture and states that E.coli in particular should not be found in any concentration in new cosmetic products.

Also Read- This Face Mask Can Prevent Apnoea at Night

However, there is currently limited consumer protection around the risks of contaminating products while in use.

According to the study, post-Brexit, UK consumers could be at even greater risk as they will no longer be protected by EU regulations and could find themselves purchasing more beauty products from the US – for example – where there are no regulatory requirements to put expiry dates on make-up packaging at all. (IANS)

Next Story

Israeli Scientists Develop Bacteria Fed With Carbon Dioxide

Israeli scientists develop bacteria which "eat" carbon dioxide

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Carbon dioxide
Israeli researchers develop a bacteria that will feed on carbon dioxide. Pixabay

Israeli researchers have developed bacteria fed only with carbon dioxide, the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in central Israel reported on Wednesday.

These bacteria, which build the entire biomass of their body from the carbon in the air, may help to develop future technologies to reduce greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere and in the fight against global warming, the Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the study, published in the journal Cell, these bacteria were completely weaned off sugar, after a nearly decade-long process.

The Israeli scientists have been able to “reprogram” E.coli bacteria, which consume sugars and release carbon dioxide, so they use carbon dioxide from the environment and produce the sugars they need to build their body.

The researchers mapped the genes that are essential to this process and added some of them to the bacteria genome in their lab.

bacteria and carbon dioxide
The Israeli scientists have been able to “reprogram” E.coli bacteria, which consume sugars and release carbon dioxide. (Representational Image Only). Pixabay

In addition, they have inserted the bacteria a gene that allows them to receive energy from a substance called formate.

This was not enough to make the bacteria change their diet, and “laboratory evolution” processes were needed to gradually wean them off sugar.

At each stage of the process, the cultured bacteria received a diminishing amount of sugar, and at the same time gained an abundance of carbon dioxide and formate.

The bacteria’s offspring were gradually weaned off sugar dependence, until after about six months of adjusting to the new diet regime, some underwent the complete nutritional turnover.

Also Read- Women Affected The Most By Environmental Stress: Study

The researchers believe that the “healthy” habits of these bacteria may prove to be mostly healthy for earth.

For example, biotech companies that use yeast or bacterial cell cultures to produce commodity chemicals may be able produce these in cells using carbon dioxide instead of large amounts of corn syrup used today. (IANS)