My grandmother used to say, “A lady is better dressed with her earrings and lippy on”
I love red lipstick and a touch of pink or nude completes my makeup and makes me feel brighter, but recent news regarding lead in lipsticks has added to the precautions of chemicals in the skin care products I use.
Tests conducted by the FDA on 22 lipsticks found unacceptable amounts of lead in every one of them. The brands were the ones you see advertised regularly and are most prominent in the stores selling cosmetics. The price of the lipsticks was no indication of whether or not they might be contaminated.
Health authorities recommend there are no ‘safe’ levels of consumption of lead yet cosmetic manufacturers claim the amounts in the lipsticks should be of little concern. They have not considered the accumulation of the heavy metal as most women who regularly use the product could consume up to 2 kilos per a year. We are literally eating the stuff.
Babies have been found to have lead, among other toxic chemicals in their cord blood; so pregnant women could be inadvertently affecting their unborn children. Lead is stored in the bones and during pregnancy, breast feeding and again at menopause, a woman’s blood levels of lead rise as stored calcium and bone lead are released. This can happen even if the woman has not been exposed to lead for years as the heavy metal accumulates.
The Mayo clinic states 10 micrograms (0.00001 of a gram) of lead per 100ml (approximately 3 ounces) can cause brain damage in children. Even small amounts of lead have been linked to developmental delays hyperactivity, irreversible brain damage and learning difficulties.
Florida’s Department of Health, in a report on lead poisoning is quoted “There are no safe levels of lead in blood”
Of interest is the lead amounts found in the individual lipsticks tested were vastly different. The product with the most lead contained 34 times more of the metal than the lipstick that contained the least amount. That implies that the contaminant could be controlled.
Building contractors and painters now need to be trained and certified in safe work practices under a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency. Leaded fuel has been banned in many countries around the world for some time.
There is no governing body or agency to regulate lead in cosmetics.