A disturbing report surfaced last week that could have many women kissing off their lipstick.
The FDA tested a number of lipsticks from various brands and found lead in every one.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA to ban lead from makeup!
Especially discouraging is the fact that the three lipsticks with the most lead are also some of the most popular — CoverGirl, Revlon and L’Oreal.
The FDA says the “small” level of lead found in the products is “not a threat,” and the Personal Care Products Council says the lead might be a trace contaminate from raw ingredients in the products. After all, lead is naturally found in air, water and soil.
But the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics — and I — aren’t buying it. Especially considering some lipsticks had lead levels 34 times higher than others.
Studies say the average woman consumes about four pounds of lipstick throughout her life from eating, drinking and licking her lips. And even though the lead levels found in these products might be “small,” many experts, like Florida’s Department of Health, say there’s “no safe level of lead in blood.” Lead, even in trace amounts, collects in the body over time and gets stored in your bones. For women, this lead is released into the blood at three key times: pregnancy, breastfeeding and after menopause.
As someone who sported — ahem, ROCKED — red lipstick every day when I was 15, this news is troubling.
And it should be, for all women. We shouldn’t have to risk our health with the contents of our makeup bags. Sure, during the Elizabethan era people powdered their hair and skin with lead, and during the Italian Renaissance women wore lead paint on their faces…but excuse me for thinking we’d progressed from that.
In related news, lead (along with arsenic and cadmium) was also discovered in some protein drinks. Can we ever escape these metals??
Your best bet for cosmetic safety, aside from throwing out your makeup altogether (which I for one am not strong enough to do), is to check the Cosmetics Safety Database. Make sure the potions that make you more beautiful aren’t also making you more toxic.
Right now, the FDA doesn’t regularly test for lead in finished cosmetics — only in the colors added to them. To help ensure the safety of your makeup, sign this petition asking the FDA to test finished cosmetics for lead. Ban all lead from these products, because NO lead is the only safe level.
photo via Idhren, Flickr