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Does Your Favorite Lipstick Contain Lead?

by Lauren ArutePhiladelphia Weekly
February 21st, 2012

Though lead has been banned in paint since 1978 for its toxicity levels, you may be exposing yourself to it when you swipe on your favorite tube of lipstick, according to a recent MSNBC article.

 The FDA released a study on lead levels in drugstore and department store lipsticks alike, and most of the 400 brands tested positive for lead.

Among the top ten lipsticks with the highest lead content, L’Oreal distributes five – the highest containing 7.19 parts per million. This is more than double the amount of lead present in the leading offender in a 2007 study of lipstick lead content.

Currently, the FDA has set specifications for lead in color additives used in cosmetics, but they haven’t set limits on the amount of lead that can be present in cosmetics, according to their website.

The FDA says they do not consider the lead levels they found in their case study to be of a concern. However, the Campaign of Safe Cosmetics believes the FDA should set a limit for how much lead lipstick can contain and study whether there are any dangers or long-term side effects to having the substance applied to human lips, particularly the lips of children and pregnant women.

“Recognizing that there is no safe level of lead exposure, we need to be protecting women and children from all levels of exposure,” Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the campaign, told MSNBC.

To take a stand, the campaign is launching the Kiss Lead Goodbye contest today, February 21st, when women are encouraged to submit video submissions to hear what they have to say to cosmetic giants that put lead in their products.