A recent test by the federal government brings in the spotlight the ingredients our cosmetic products contain. The findings show that 400 of the most popular lipsticks in the U.S. market contain trace levels of lead.
The recent test is part of a wide investigation the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ordered and despite clear findings, the authority still hasn’t set limits for lead levels in lipsticks. Several social groups have lobbied the government for more severe guidelines when it came to the presence of lead in lipsticks.
According to the FDA test, five L’Oreal and Maybelline lipsticks ranked among the 10 most contaminated brands. Bloomberg writes that L’Oreal’s Color Sensational Pink Petal was on top of the list with 7.19 parts lead per million.
After the results were made public, L’Oreal spokeswoman Rebecca Caruso sent in the following statement: “L’Oreal maintains the highest standards for safety and consumers can use all of our products with complete confidence”.
FDA’s analysis showed that products sampled two years ago had average concentrations of 1.11 parts per million, close the average level found in 2007. The agency said: “Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities. The lead levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities”.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is just one of the several actions initiated to ensure cosmetics are safe and is one of the most determined supporters of setting clear lead limits in lipsticks. And for this group, FDA’s latest test findings are evidence enough there’s need for an urgent action.
But the FDA says that the lead levels detected in its tests are within safe limits. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics accused the authority to take action without scientific basis. But the FDA was backed by the Personal Care Products Council, the trade group that represents the cosmetic industry.
Halyna Breslawec is the council’s chief scientist and said that the 10 parts per million limit is the suggested limit for levels of lead in cosmetics.
Lead exposure can cause kidney damage and behavioral and attention problems but it can also reduce IQ in pregnant women and young children.