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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

LEAD IN COSMETICS

LEAD IN COSMETICS

Recently, there has developed an awareness of the toxic elements in some (if not many) cosmetics. Evaluating this part of our environment as it relates to our exposure to toxic elements has been ignored, but it has recently come to light. Also, we are all or should be aware of the recent discovery of lead in the paint of toys made in China resulting in massive recalls of toys. Any of us who have had children fully well realize that children utilize all their senses when playing with toys: especially sight, touch, and taste. Children feel every toy with their hands and mouth.

Lead used to be in most paints. Today, it is prohibited, at least in the US, to add lead to paints. Why lead we might ask? It appears that putting lead in paints make the colors more lustrous and durable. So we have known the potential damaging effects of adding lead to paints, and we have done something about it.

But what about adding lead to some other products in our environment. The topic of this Blog concerns lead in cosmetics, in particular, lipstick. In or to put together this Blog I have pieced together from various sources some information which has recently come to light.

The consumer rights group, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recently stated that the lipsticks they tested revealed that more than half contained lead and some popular and more expensive brands including Cover Girl, L'Oreal, and Christian Dior had more lead than others.

From tests performed on 33 brand-name red lipsticks by the Bodycote Testing Group in Santa Fe Spring, California, 61 percent had detectable lead levels of 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).

Lipstick, like candy, is ingested. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of public health, environmental and women's groups, said the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick as it has for candy.

One-third of the lipsticks tested contained an amount of lead that exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy — a standard established to protect children from ingesting lead, the group said. Thirty-nine percent of the lipsticks tested had no discernible lead, it said. Albeit that ingested candy would provide considerably more lead than might be obtained from lipstick, it should be of some concern because lead, as with some other toxic elements within the body, is commutative. And, this albeit small ingestion of lead from lipstick is added to toxins ingested from other sources.

Manufacturers can reformulate their product, because it is possible to make lipsticks without lead, as some companies are already doing, and all companies should be doing.
Lead can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, the group said in its statement. Lead has also been linked to infertility and miscarriage.

The coalition said that some less expensive brands it had tested, such as Revlon, had no detectable levels of lead, while the more expensive Dior Addict brand had higher levels than some other brands.

On the other hand and to give the other side of the story, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association trade group said in a statement that lead was a naturally occurring element that was not intentionally added to cosmetics. But a question to ask is “if lead is a naturally occurring element, why do some of the less expensive brands have no detectable lead.? Might I suggest sarcastically that the manufacturers of more expensive brands have discovered that colors are more lustrous and durable when lead is added, and so they do.

***In my experience over the years, I have discovered that companies and governments lie all the time to cover their a**e*. I am an activist for honesty in matters of health, and I will speak out when it appears appropriate. Some may consider this stance inappropriate but I do not , and I follow my instincts and inclination.***

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. (Partially extracted from NewsMax.com)

On a personal note, I used to love kissing women who wore sexy lustrous, and not bad tasting by the way, lipstick. I have tried to reduce this exposure recently! What a pity!

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
www.drtauraso.com

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