According to new product tests released today by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, lipstick manufactured in the United States and used daily by millions of American women contains surprisingly high levels of lead.
More than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead, a dangerous neurotoxin that can cause learning disabilities, as an ingredient.
“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. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure,” said Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, president, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.
According to the tests, which were conducted by an independent laboratory during the month of September, one-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy – a standard established to protect children from directly ingesting lead. Lipstick products, like candy, are directly ingested into the body. Nevertheless, the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick, “which fits with the disturbing absence of FDA regulatory oversight and enforcement capacity for the $50 billion personal care products industry,” said the Campaign.
Fortunately, the tests also identified lead-free lipstick brands: 39 percent of lipsticks tested had no detectable levels of lead. In fact, some less expensive brands such as Revlon Superlustrous Bed of Roses ($7.49) had no detectable lead levels.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell from product labeling which brands contain lead and which do not. Review complete test results in the full report, “A Poison Kiss: The Problem of Lead in Lipstick,” posted at www.SafeCosmetics.org. Then Use Your Purse to buy the safest possible brand.
-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