The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced an updated study that showed 400 shades of lipstick contain traces of lead. Brands such as Maybelline, Cover Girl and others made the list. There have been reports of lead findings in lipsticks during the 1990s. In 2007 the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported lead traces in lipstick, as well. These tests are conducted periodically to maintain a current record.
In terms of a potential health risk the FDA stated, “We have assessed the potential for harm to consumers from use of lipstick containing lead at the levels found in both rounds of testing. Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities. We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics, including lipstick.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is advocating for more regulation of lead in lipstick due to harmful effects on the body. According to their website, “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,” according to Mark Mitchell, MD, MPH, policy advisor of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice and co-chair of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association.
Will these findings make you put down your lipstick and explore other options?