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What is in your Lipstick?

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Lipstick manufactured in the United States contains “surprisingly high” levels of lead, according to a new study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

More than half (61 percent) of 33 name-brand lipsticks tested in September 2007 contained lead levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). One-third of the lipsticks had more lead than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.

Although lipstick is ingested directly into your body, the FDA has not set a lead limit for the cosmetic. Among the brands with the highest lead levels were:

  • L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” — 0.65 ppm
  • L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine” – 0.58 ppm
  • Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” — 0.56 ppm
  • Dior Addict “Positive Red” — 0.21 ppm

Lead is a known neurotoxin that can:

  • Cause learning, language, and behavioral problems
  • Cross the placenta and interfere with normal fetal development
  • Possibly cause infertility and miscarriage

The small amounts of lead in personal care products build up over time in your body, and can lead to a significant accumulation.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling for cosmetics makers to remove lead from their products, and for the FDA to more strictly regulate personal care products.

Lipsticks can be manufactured without lead, the Campaign pointed out, as 39 percent of lipsticks tested had no detectable levels of lead.

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