Lead in Lipstick? Should We Be Concerned?


The debate on whether or not some lipsticks contain lead resurfaced several years back. Those advocating insisted that people exposed over a long period to lipsticks containing lead were at risk of absorbing high levels of the neurotoxin while those in defense, the FDA, claimed that “any traces of lead that do exist were too minute to cause harm”.

But the problem is that no FDA standards have been set in place to limit lead and other toxins in lipstick, rather it’s up to the manufacturers to decide safe levels and perform tests on products. Cosmetic companies must list their “intended” ingredients but because lead is an “unintended” byproduct of the process, it is not included.

In a study done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2007, one-third of lipsticks tested contained traces of lead exceeding the federal limit for candy by .1ppm!

L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” lipstick and Cover Girl’s Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” ranked worst on the list.

Some say that there is no reason for much concern, but if “there’s lead in lipstick, and you put it on your lips, on your mouth and you can eat it”, there may be reason to take precautions.

If you want to see how well any of your products (cosmetics, sunscreens, shampoos, etc.) rate on a scale, visit: www.cosmeticdatabase.com.

If you want to get the full article, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/fashion/28skin.html

Andrea Rey

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