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Hazardous fluids being shipped improperly from San Francisco cosmetic firm

In San Francisco, a cosmetics company has been allegedly shipping hazardous materials by air, and is now facing federal charges, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Benefit Cosmetics shipped isopropyl alcohol by air on March 26, 2006, federal prosecutors told the Chronicle. This highly flammable substance is used as a cleaning fluid and is a prominent ingredient in personal-care products.

Neither company, nor its employees, were properly licensed or certified to transport these hazardous materials by air, according to federal charges filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

Benefit Cosmetics, popular for its fun, candy-store atmosphere, began in 1976. Beginning with one shop on Market St., there are now more than 1,000 counters in more than 25 countries.