Many Lipsticks Found To Contain Lead
February 15, 2012

Many Lipsticks Found To Contain Lead

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently tested the top 400 lipsticks and found that all of them contain trace amounts of lead.

Among the top 10 contaminated brands five are Maybelline and L´Oreal, owned by L´Oreal USA, two Cover Girl, two NARS lipsticks, and one from Stargazer, according to the FDA´s data.

The lipstick with the highest concentration of lead was Maybelline´s Color Sensational “Pink Petal” with a concentration of 7.19 parts per million. But the average concentration out of the 400 lipsticks tested was 1.11 parts per million, well below the proposed limit of 10 parts per million.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics raised concerns to the FDA urging them to set limits to the amount of lead allowable in cosmetic products. In 2007 the campaign tested 33 lipsticks and found two-thirds of them contained lead and one-third surpassed the FDA´s lead limit for candy, according to

But the FDA finds no comparison to candy and lipstick saying, “It is not scientifically valid to equate the risk to consumers presented by lead levels in candy, a product intended for ingestion, with that associated with lead levels in lipstick, a product intended for topical use and ingested in much smaller quantities than candy.”

According to the Halyna Breslawec the chief scientist for the Personal Care Products Council, the trade group representing cosmetics manufacturers, lead is not added to the lipstick but is contained in trace amounts due to the minerals used for the colors. The lead is naturally found in the soil, water and air.

Regulation of lead in lipsticks has proven to be difficult. In California, they have laws requiring companies to report chemicals known to cause cancer or cause reproductive harm, But the trace amounts of lead in the products are not high enough to trigger the warnings. The warnings are only triggered when the concentration reaches 5 parts per million.

Only two lipsticks exceeded the limit for the warning out of the 400 tested, Maybelline´s “Pink Petal” and L´Oreals´s Colour Riche “Volcanic” lipstick.


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