In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration conducted a test on lipstick to determine the amount of lead that various brands and shades contained. What they found was that out of the twenty lipsticks they tested, all contained traces of lead.
However, the amount of lead was below the safety limit of 5 parts per million considered safe by the state of California. But is any amount of lead really safe?
New testing in 2011 revealed that 400 popular brands and shades of lipstick contained toxic lead particles. Many of them were still below the 5 parts per million “safe” level; however, two were found to be above. Maybelline and L’Oreal were both implicated.
Is Lead Safe?
Although the FDA states that trace levels of lead in cosmetics are not harmful, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics disagrees. They believe that the lead builds up in the body over time, and when lipstick is applied throughout the day, it can add up to significant exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that this is a particular concern for women who are of childbearing age. There is no safe amount of lead for children, and exposure to both children and pregnant women should be avoided altogether.
Exposure to lead may cause learning, behavioral and language problems in children. It has also been connected to lower IQ and impaired fetus development.
The problems with chemicals in makeup does not end with lipstick. Brands of mascara, eye shadow, bronzes and eyeliner have tested positive for cadmium and arsenic. Other toxins including mercury, selenium, thallium, nickel and beryllium have also been found in skincare products.
A Canadian-based study uncovered all sorts of toxins lurking in makeup, including four – selenium, thallium, nickel and beryllium – which they have banned. Out of 49 popular makeup brands and products, all toxins listed above except mercury were found.
No toxins were listed on the product labels because they are not ingredients so to speak, but rather by-products of the manufacturing process, therefore, they are exempt from labeling restrictions.
How dangerous is it to paint your face each morning with this toxic cocktail, and is beauty really worth the health risk? The effects of these toxins, which are easily absorbed by the skin, are quite worrisome to health professionals. Noted in the list of possible side effects of long term use are: hormone disruption, cancer, memory loss, mood swings, kidney problems, headaches, lung damage, dermatitis, hair loss, developmental disorders and vomiting.
As research uncovers the nasty by-products lingering in popular cosmetic brands, more consumers are requesting safe products. There are many lines of complete organic skincare and makeup that are becoming available. These products, as effective as their toxic counterparts, offer the peace of mind that many women are looking for.
-The Alternative Daily