Determinació de bifenils policlorats no intencionats (PCB) en productes cosmètics


Martínez Alegre, Matiana


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of organochlorine aromatic compounds that are semi-volatile, have high persistence, present bioaccumulation and toxicity. For this reason, these compounds are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Due to their high toxicity, the production of these compounds as technical mixtures was banned years ago. However, recently residues of these compounds have been found in highly varied matrices. These PCBs have been shown to be unintentionally formed in the production of other products, such as in organic pigment’s production. These PCBs are known as UP-PCBs and in high concentrations they can be extremely dangerous in humans.
Organic pigments are widely used in many industries to colour products used in daily life, for example, in cosmetic industry. If in the production of these pigments forms different PCB congeners are generated, it means that the makeup used on the skin every day may contain a high amount of toxic compounds.
The experimental analysis of PCBs in powder format cosmetics is carried out by means of a toluene extraction and a purification process that include three columns: sodium sulphate column, multilayer silica column and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) column. Finally, the levels of PCBs are determined by high-resolution gas chromatography (HRGC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry HRMS.
The levels of PCBs found in analyzed cosmetics are very low. However, if the cosmetic is applied for a long time on the skin it can be dangerous.
The PCBs congeners present in the analyzed cosmetics are the same described in the pigments found in the bibliography and published articles. The PCBs congeners that have been found in highest proportion are PCB 11, PCB 31, PCB 38, PCB 48, PCB 52, PCB 77 and PCB 101.
A significant variation is observed in the levels of PCBs found in the cosmetics analyzed depending on the type, colour and brand of the cosmetic.



Diaz Ferrero, Jordi
Ramos Masana, Ana 


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Chemistry