Lipstick and lip gloss are beauty staples that are found in almost every woman’s purse or make-up bag. Studies have been done that have found levels of lead in certain lipsticks that are troubling. A new preliminary study that was conducted at the University of Berkeley California’s School of Public Health is showing that there are other types of metals as well that can be toxic.
Nine heavy metals were studied in 24 different brands of lipstick that cost between $5.59 and $24. Katharine Hammond was the author of the study. She said that they were looking specifically for cadmium, aluminum, chromium, and manganese. Overexposure to each of these metals can pose a significant health risk. Cadmium for example can cause kidney problems even at low levels of exposure.
Researchers are concerned with this as lipsticks and lip glosses have a high potential for being ingested. For the study, they estimated that the glosses were applied twice per day. Just in those two applications the levels for ingestion on the metals was over acceptable levels. This study is still preliminary though, so researchers are stating that women shouldn’t abandon lipstick all together, they should just be mindful of the information for the moment.
A staff scientist for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reviewed the data and said that it is concerning and more studies need to be done. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics was started in 2004 and pushes for less chemicals to be added to cosmetics, making them dangerous to use.
The FDA has set limits to the amount of lead that can be in lipsticks, however the levels that were found in almost half of 33 lipstick brands, that were reviewed in 2007, was alarming to researchers.