Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Would you like some lead in your lipstick?

The FDA recently (and finally!) released their test results for lead in lipstick -- they found lead in all 20 lipsticks tested. The lead was present at levels as high as 3.06 ppm, with an average of 1.07 ppm, which is 10 times higher than the FDA's limit for lead in candy. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn't have any standard for lead levels in lipstick, and they won't name the three specific manufacturers that make lipsticks with the highest levels of lead in them... Although, Campaign For Safe Cosmetics had conducted its own study back in 2007 and found lead in two-thirds of the 33 different lipsticks it tested, including ones from L'Oreal, Cover Girl, Christian Dior, and Maybelline. Why is there lead in lipstick? Because apparently, some colorants contain traces of lead, and it is also present as a by-product in ingredients such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ozokerite (mineral or paraffin wax), and petroleum-based ingredients. Since lead is considered a "contaminant," you won't find "lead" listed on the ingredient labels, so how will you know if your lipstick is lead-free? I guess the best thing to do is to not wear lipstick. However, apparently there are now lipsticks on the market that are labeled "lead-free," so keep an eye out for those if you trust the claim.

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