The center for environmental research and information Eco-sense during 2010 conducted a market research to identify the chemicals present on the market.

What’s the aim?

The aim of the research is to inform the public about the possible negative impacts on the environment and health from the cosmetic products, household products, children's toys and other products used daily, as well as promoting safe alternatives to certain products.

Also, the aim is to promote basic information on chemicals, to warn consumers to watch what they are buying, and to influence on the selection of safe products.

Does Macedonia have a Law on chemicals?

In Macedonia, despite the framework law on chemicals, there aren’t additional laws that would regulate the allowable presence and quantity of chemicals in products used in cosmetics and households.

In Macedonia there is very little information on the composition and toxicity of certain chemicals found in products available to consumers.

Consumers are not aware of the effects of chemicals in everyday products they buy, on their health, children's health and the environment.

Although Europe has already banned the use of thermometers that contain mercury, in Macedonia there are still almost no warnings or information campaigns related to this topic.

What have we done?

Eco-sense examined 40 cosmetic products and 20 household products that are sold in supermarkets and shops in Skopje and are widely available to consumers.

The survey was done according to EU Directive 76/768/EES for cosmetic products.
In 92% of the cosmetic products was registered presence of harmful chemicals (irritants to skin and eyes, allergens and toxic).
Large number of the products don't have specified percentage or specified amount of chemical that is considered harmful.
According to the European Directive, if a chemical exceeds the quantity and it becomes harmful in the product, its name must be clearly indicated on product packaging.
To 33% of the household products, composition is not specified. On the most of these products there are not warnings about basic toxicity, harmful for the environment or human health.

We did market research with toys as well.
We used the RAPEX list of European Union, where once a week, it is supplemented with new toys that are proved to have harmful chemicals that are hazardous to the health of children.
We found 30 toys from the RAPEX list present in toy markets in Skopje.

As for mercury, it is a heavy metal that is very toxic to human health and the environment. In Macedonia, research and testing for the presence and levels of mercury are very rare. Therefore, as part of this project, Eco-sense tested hair samples for the presence of mercury. Testing was performed by the Institute of Chemistry of Faculty of Natural Sciences. The results of that testing, report on the situation of mercury in Macedonia, as well as informative brochures about mercury that were made, you can find on this web site.

How can you protect yourself?

Watch out the ingredients of any product you buy.

Check for warning signs on the packaging.

Choose healthy and natural products.

Avoid thermometers and other devices that contain mercury.