Kohl, also known as mesdemet or kajal, is the cosmetic compound applied around the eyes. Since ancient times, it has been used to enhance beauty and protect eye health. It carries with it several medicinal properties, such as the ability to promote healthy eyelashes, prevent infections, and treat certain diseases of the eye. Other types of kohl, such as those made from lead, however, are not so effective and, even worse, often contain harmful substances.
Kohl is mostly made from a combination of inorganic and organic compounds. These include plant-based soot, finely ground minerals (typically stibnite) and metallic components. The metals most frequently employed in mesdemet are tin and lead, both of which, when heated at high temperatures, form the dark gray mineral galena. Galena is mixed with a variety of other inorganic and organic materials to create different shades of black and gray.
Lead compounds are toxic at certain concentrations, and their use is banned in many countries. In addition, kohl is notorious for containing toxic concentrations of antimony, which is also toxic at certain levels.
The aim of this study was to determine whether kohl products purchased in retail shops or on the internet from various European countries conformed to the laws governing their chemical composition, specifically concerning the content of Pb. This was achieved by analysing the kohl samples using XRF and SEM-EDXS. The results showed that the kohls analyzed contained significant quantities of Pb, often in the range of 84%. This is dangerous, because prolonged fetal exposure to Pb is known to cause neurological and developmental impairments . antimony kohl