Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Toxic black henna dyes

Henna, a 9,000 year-old South Asian and Middle Eastern tradition of painting the body, has found its way to the  mainstream. Henna tattoos have been spotted on everyone from singing divas to movie stars to spring breakers. Henna is also used to dye hair.

Though the popularity of the body art rises, information surrounding it does not. Few realise that a form of henna, called "black henna," can poison us.

Red lipstick spreads the lead

lipstickSome of the red lipsticks manufactured in the United States and used daily by millions of women contain high levels of lead, according to new product tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a nonprofit coalition.

The tests for lead in lipstick were conducted by an independent laboratory over the month of September on red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, Connecticut, San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Nano particles in cosmetics

Nanotechnology can be risky, but no one is regulating its use. A study published in the 20 May 2008 issue of Nature Nanotechnology showed that nanotubes, tube-shaped nanoparticles, can lead to cancer.