FDA: Yes, lots of lipsticks contain lead

September 5, 2009 By Siel Ju

The good news: After a long, tight-lipped silence, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration tested lipsticks for lead -- a move that eco-nonprofit organizations like Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have been calling for years. After all, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' 2007 study found lead in 61 percent of the 33 lipsticks tested -- despite the fact that lead wasn't listed as an ingredient in any of them!

The bad news: The found at levels four times higher than even what Campaign for Safe Found!

The really bad news: The FDA won't name names -- despite admitting that three specific manufacturers had the highest levels of lead in their lipsticks. And as of yet, the FDA has no standard for lead in -- so toxic lipstick's fair game.

How much lead are we talking? Well, the FDA found lead in all 20 lipsticks it tested -- with the average level being 1.07 ppm -- a level 10 times higher than the FDA's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy, which doesn't bode well for kids who might use a parent's lipstick while playing dress up. Even scarier, the highest lead level the FDA found was 3.06 ppm!

Despite the fact that some cosmetic industry people say lipstick can't be made without lead, lead-free lipsticks are already on the market. In fact, health-conscious companies like Lavera have lipstick trade-in offers to entice you away from the contaminated lipsticks (www.lavera.com/special-offers/26-newsletter/123-lipstick-challenge).

To keep your lips lead-free, look for lipsticks specifically labeled lead-free or consult Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep cosmetic safety database (ewg.org/) when shopping. Of course, lipstick-free living's also a good option; try organic lip balms.
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(c) 2009, Mother Nature Network.
Visit the Mother Nature Network on the World Wide Web at www.mnn.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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3 comments

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rfw
5 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2009
Shame on the FDA. Aren't they behaving illegally by refusing to identify the manufacturers of lead-based lipsticks? The public has a right to be protected from dangerous products and the FDA has the job of informing and protecting the public. Why is the FDA not doing its job???
marky
1 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2009
Why is the FDA not doing its job???


The FDA is in fact doing it's job - it's not in the business of protecting the public at all cost....so your perspective on what the FDA should do is misaligned against the facts.
SDMike
not rated yet Sep 07, 2009
Actually, the FDA isn't protecting the public period! It's all about the BenJs. Toxic lipstick is OK but CO2 is evil. Politics and money. Not people.

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