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AAS Estimation of Heavy Metals and Trace elements in Indian Herbal Cosmetic Preparations

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 124001, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 2, Issue (3), Pages 46-51, March,18 (2012)


In present study, heavy metals like Pb, Cd and trace (micronutrients) metals like Ca, Mg, Al, Cu and Zn were quantitatively estimated using flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). Also, heavy metals such as As and Hg were estimated by hydride generation technique (cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry) using nitrogen as carrier gas in 21 herbal cosmetic preparations sold in Indian market. The results indicate that among the toxic heavy metals, two samples for Hg content and six for Pb content were exceeding the WHO permissible limits fixed for herbal preparations. Arsenic was found appreciably well below the permissible limit, but Cd was found above the permissible limit in the all samples. Trace elements like Ca and Mg were found in higher amount than Al, Cu, and Zn. Presence of trace elements can prove to be beneficial but presence of toxic heavy metals in such amounts surely has adverse effects on the consumer health who always take the herbal products in an impression of being safe because of the natural origin. In conclusion, enforcement of strict and separate regulatory guidelines and promotion of Good analytical practice (GAP), good manufacturing practices (GMP) and good agricultural and control practices (GACP) is suggested for herbal cosmetics by WHO and other regulatory agencies. This study presents the status of heavy metals and trace elements in marketed herbal cosmetic formulations and also provides a simple and convenient AAS method which can effectively be adopted at Industrial level for the quality control and standardization of herbal cosmetic preparations and other related products.


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