Eyeliner removed from shelves - Media release

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12 September 2018
Media releases

Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors have seized more than 7,400 eyeliner products believed to contain lead. 
Consumers are being warned to take care when purchasing cosmetics after testing by New South Wales Health of the eyeliners branded as 'Hashmi Surma Special' and 'Hashmi Kohl Aswad', revealed high levels of lead and other dangerous metals, including arsenic and mercury.


Photo of eyeliner products branded 'Hashmi Surma Special' and 'Hashmi Kohl Aswad'.

The testing determined that 'Hashmi Surma Special' contained 84 per cent lead content, with 'Hashmi Kohl Aswad' containing 29.5 per cent lead content.
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Simon Cohen said it was important for consumers to be aware of these potentially dangerous products.
“There has been a reported case in New South Wales of three children experiencing elevated blood lead levels related to use of the eyeliner products and our inspectors have since found the same branded items in Victorian stores,” Mr Cohen said.
“Consumers should stop using these products immediately and we encourage anyone who comes across these items to contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.”
Inspectors identified and seized the potentially dangerous items for failing to meet mandatory information standards, which require all ingredients to be listed.
The eyeliner products were seized from nine stores and two suppliers, mostly serving local Indian and Pakistani communities. The products are also available online. 
Consumer Affairs Victoria product safety experts conduct inspections of retailer and suppliers as part of the state-wide compliance program.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, a supplier who fails to comply with a mandatory safety standard can face fines of up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for a body corporate.
For more information about lead exposure and your health visit the Lead exposure and your health page on the Victorian Government's Better Health Channel's website.
There is also a product recall notice for the items on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Product Safety website