Get the Lead Out | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Get the Lead Out

According to a recent ABC News report, several brands of lipstick contain lead, including popular brands such as Cover Girl and L'Oreal:

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics randomly purchased more than 30 lipsticks in four cities and sent them to a lab for lead testing. More than half came back with levels of lead.

"It's unconscionable that women should have to worry about lead in lipstick," said Stacy Malkan of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

The coalition's report found that 20 of the 33 lipsticks it sent to be tested contained lead. Higher levels were found in products made by L'Oreal, Cover Girl and Christian Dior.

Because there is no federal standard for lead in cosmetics, the advocacy group used the Food and Drug Administration's limits for lead in candy as a yardstick.

"We want the companies to immediately reformulate their products to get the lead out and … ultimately, really we need to change the laws and force these companies to be accountable to women's health," Malkan said.

According to the article, a representative of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association said there are only trace levels of lead, so there is no cause for concern. On the other hand, Malkan points out that exposure to lead can cause problems in pregnant women, including learning disabilities and miscarriage.

An urban legend has been circulating for years that lead in lipstick causes cancer, but there is no medical report to back that up. Also, according to the legend, you can use a gold ring to check your lipstick for lead, but tests done by Snopes.com show that the test is faulty.

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