X-ray fluorescence analysis of Pb, Fe and Zn in kohl

Eman Daar, Abdullah Alsubaie, K. S. Almugren, S. Barnes, A. Alanazi, A. Alyahyawi, S. Alomairy, Huda Al-Sulaiti, D. A. Bradley

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Kohl, a facial salve used in ancient times as a symbol of affluence, now enjoys more widespread traditional followings, for cosmetic, religious and supposed medicinal purposes. Popularly used by women and men of all ages, particularly those of North African, Middle Eastern, Southern Asia, Japanese and Chinese origins, it is also known to be used on neonates and children from such populations. With small-scale producers of kohl possessing a growing awareness of the adverse market impact of products that contain (lead) Pb and other toxicity related elements, some claim their products to be Pb-free, offering an apparent change from the more traditional galena-based (lead sulphide) media. Among the published physiological effects of exposure to Pb is that it replaces Ca in bones and teeth, making them weak and fragile, other impacts including nephrotoxicity, also linked with increased Pb blood levels in studies in Oman, Canada, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan. Current study involves XRF analysis of Pb, Fe and Zn concentrations in 135 samples of kohl from nine randomly selected suppliers (15 samples of each brand being represented). In pursuit of this, use was made of an in-house assembled facility comprising compact high-performance components, the arrangement offering sufficient sensitivity for the purposes of present study. In most of the samples investigated in the present study observation has been made of concentrations of Pb at elevated levels, quantification of those levels also demonstrating a need to address self-attenuation by the Pb itself. Significant concentration of Fe have also been found in several of the samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3590-3595
Number of pages6
JournalResults in Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017



  • Fe and Zn contamination
  • Kohl
  • Pb
  • X-ray florescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Daar, E., Alsubaie, A., Almugren, K. S., Barnes, S., Alanazi, A., Alyahyawi, A., Alomairy, S., Al-Sulaiti, H., & Bradley, D. A. (2017). X-ray fluorescence analysis of Pb, Fe and Zn in kohl. Results in Physics, 7, 3590-3595. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rinp.2017.09.037