FDA tests find trace levels of lead in lipsticks

NBC Nightly News reported that the Food and Drug Administration “ran some tests on popular brands of lipstick, and 400 of them were found to contain trace levels of lead.”

However, “the FDA says it doesn’t consider the lead levels unsafe, because it doesn’t actually get consumed.” For its part, “the trade group representing cosmetics manufacturers agrees with that, but some consumer groups are protesting, saying the FDA should set limits on how much lead is allowed in cosmetics in the first place.”

“Five lipsticks made by L’Oreal and Maybelline, owned by L’Oreal USA, ranked among the top 10 most contaminated of the cosmetics, according to” FDA testing, the Washington Post reports. “Two Cover Girl and two NARS lipsticks also landed in the top 10, as did one made by Stargazer.”

According to Bloomberg News, “Products sampled in 2010 had average concentrations of 1.11 parts per million, close to the average of 1.07 parts per million in a smaller survey the FDA conducted in 2007.”

The piece points out, “Lead exposure can lead to kidney damage, reduced IQ and behavioral and attention problems, according to the National Institutes of Health, with pregnant women and young children most vulnerable. The agency doesn’t set limits for lead in cosmetics.”

On its website, CBS News points out, “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics calls lead a neurotoxin and says any amount is too much. ‘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,’ Dr. Mark Mitchell, co-chair of the environmental health task force for the National Medical Association, said in a Safe Cosmetics written statement.”

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