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Lead compounds in traditional eye cosmetics (“kohls”) available in Morocco

GAVYN ROLLINSON1*, ANDREW D. HARDY2, RAGINI VAISHNAV3
*Corresponding author
1. University of Exeter in Cornwall, Camborne School of Mines, Tremough Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ, Cornwall, United Kingdom
2. University of Exeter, Centre for Medical History, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, Devon, United Kingdom
3. Sultan Qaboos University, College of Medicine, Box 35, Al-Khod 123, Sultanate of Oman

Abstract

This study was undertaken in order to determinethe chemical composition of potentially lead-toxictraditional eye cosmetics (“kohls”) available in Morocco. Atotal of 9 kohl samples were obtained in the souks of varioustowns in Morocco. The techniques of X-ray powderdiffraction (XRPD) and low vacuum scanning electronmicroscopy (LVSEM) were used to analyse the samples.Overall, it was found that 5 (56 percent) of the samplescontained a lead compound (galena, PbS) as the maincomponent; with a further 2 samples having galena presentas a minor component. The other (4) main componentswere found to be either calcite or aragonite (i.e. CaCO3).


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