Chemical Analysis: An Indispensable Means for Uncovering Severe Cases of Fraud with Cosmetics and Tattoo Inks


  • Christopher Hohl State Laboratory of Basel-City Kannenfeldstrasse 2, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.
  • Urs Hauri State Laboratory of Basel-City Kannenfeldstrasse 2, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland



Analysis, Fraud, Cosmetics, Tattoo inks


Three cases of fraud with commodities containing illegal stealth compounds are presented, which were uncovered by the State Laboratory Basel-City, Switzerland. All three commodities, grapefruit seed extracts, a phytocosmetical skin cream, and tattoo inks, were produced abroad, had forged declarations of ingredients and, in the case of the extracts and the cream, were marketed with far-reaching health claims. While inspections will identify suspicious products and would be able to eliminate health claims to some extent, only chemical analysis can uncover the illegal agents used and give law enforcement bodies the necessary evidence to immediately clamp down on those brands, where the stealth agent presents a serious health hazard to consumers.




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