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Does your lipstick have lead in it? Probably

Nadine Bells
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
February 21, 2012

Most lipsticks contain lead and most lipstick users don't know they do.

This is a reality that the The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics — an American non-profit coalition of environmental and cancer prevention groups — is trying to change, alerting women to the fact that over 400 brands contain lead and campaigning for its removal from products.

"Recognizing that there is no safe level of lead exposure, we need to be protecting women and children from all levels of exposure," says Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the campaign.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wants the FDA to intervene and to both set limits on how much lead lipstick can have and to study its effects, even in small doses, when applied on lips.

“There are no safety standards,” Malkan says, adding that lead can build up in the body over time, resulting in more significant exposure levels.

However, the FDA suggests that lead levels are well within a safe limit. "We developed and tested a method for measuring lead in lipstick and did not find levels that would raise health concerns," says FDA spokeswoman Tamara Ward.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An FDA study found that the levels of lead in lipstick were “within the limits recommended by global public health authorities for cosmetics.” The study found that the average lead concentration was 1.11 parts per million.

It should be noted that lead — which is found naturally in the water, soil and air —isn’t intentionally added to cosmetics. Instead, it’s often “a trace contaminant in the raw ingredients” as it is in other products.

Still for those concerned with any levels of lead in their cosmetics, below are the lipsticks discovered to contain the most lead.

1. Maybelline’s Color Sensation in Pink Petal had the most lead, with 7.19 parts per million.

2. L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic.

3. NARS Semi-Matte in Red Lizard.

4. Cover Girl Queen Collection Vibrant Hues Color in Ruby Remix

5. NARS Semi-Matte in Funny Face.

6. L’Oreal Colour Rich in Tickled Pink.

7. L’Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor in Heroic.

8. Cover Girl Continuous Color in Warm Brick.

9. Maybelline Color Sensational in Mauve Me.

10. Stargazer lipstick in shade “c.”

A full analysis is available here.

Did you find your favorite shade on the list? Will lead content affect your morning makeup routine?

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