Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Counterfeit concerns

If you’re on the lookout for make-up bargains this Christmas, be careful – the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the HSE have warned that some counterfeit cosmetics have been found to contain dangerous substances including arsenic and lead.

Among the counterfeit products tested were knock-off versions of Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics (only available via her website) and Urban Decay. Christmas is peak season for counterfeit products, sold online from countries outside the EU and in trade shows or markets across the country.

“The HPRA is extremely concerned that highly toxic substances, such as arsenic and lead, have been detected in products which are available to Irish consumers. Prolonged exposure to both of these banned substances can severely damage your health causing potential harm to your brain and kidneys, among other organs,” said Aoife Farrell, Cosmetics Compliance Manager with the HPRA. “The suppliers of these products are unconcerned about the health of the consumers who purchase them. We can’t emphasise enough the need for consumers to be vigilant when purchasing cosmetics this Christmas; while they may be sold at a cheaper cost than legitimate beauty products, it is never worth gambling with your health when buying these products. As well as the possible toxic ingredients which may be contained in counterfeit cosmetics, the way the products are manufactured and the safety and cleanliness of the production environment is unknown, which is another reason to avoid purchasing and using these cosmetics at all cost.”

Charitable research

Charitable donations at Christmas is something we tackled a few days ago, outlining several worthy causes in need of assistance this festive season. Writing in the Irish Independent this week, Louise McBride looks at how you can ensure your money goes to the right place by doing a little research beforehand.

Ryanair pilots to strike

Finally, bad news for Ryanair customers this December – the company has been served with notice of a one-day strike on December 20th. Ballots on industrial action conducted over the past week met with 94% approval by pilots who are members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IAPA), a branch of the IMPACT trade union.

IMPACT has said that the dispute lies in “Ryanair management’s refusal to enter direct negotiations with the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) or IALPA as the sole independent representative body for pilots working in the company. The airline has so far refused to recognise the EERC or IALPA, and insists that any discussion of pay and working conditions be conducted through management-controlled ’employee representative councils’.”

The trade union also warned that further strike days could be on the cards if an agreement isn’t reached.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.