Friday, October 12, 2007

Lead in Lipstick

Lately we've heard a lot about lead in toys, and now a new study shows lipsticks contain lead as well.

Lipsticks tested by a U.S. consumer rights group found that more than half contained lead and some popular brands including Cover Girl, L'Oreal and Christian Dior had more lead than others.

Lipstick, like candy, is ingested. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of public health, environmental and women's groups, said the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick.

One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy -- a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead.

See the complete list of lipsticks tested.

"Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure," said Dr. Mark Mitchell, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.

"It's critical that manufacturers reformulate their product," said Stacy Malkan, a co-founder of the coalition. "It's possible to make lipsticks without lead, and all companies should be doing that."

I was quite alarmed to find that lipstick contains lead. The study found MAC (the brand I use) lipstick had less than the 0.1 ppm detectable level of lead (0.03 to be exact), which is the FDA recommended limit for candy, but it's still worrisome that it contains any lead at all that I could potentially be ingesting daily (or be absorbing into my body).

The study however only tested red lipsticks. I'd like to see how the other colors stacked up as well.

The study came out yesterday, and as of today the FDA said it would look it.

Click here to read the entire article.

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