Trace amounts of lead and other potentially dangerous metals have been found in about 400 lipsticks recently tested by the Food and Drug Administration, according to a recent report.
Regulators and spokespeople from the costmestics industry have said that there is no need to panic since the amount of metalic content in lipstick is very low - about 1 part per million. However, information about lead exposure indicates that there may be no truly safe amount, and experts worry about the impact of long-term, chronic exposure to the product that many women apply as many as 20 times in a day.
Experts say that some of the dangerous metals in the lipsticks are naturally occurring as a result of the interaction from other ingredients that are FDA approved. This is a common problem in both cosmetics and the cleaning products industry, where carefully controlled chemical mixtures can interact differently over time when they are on the shelves than they do in a lab environment.
Although the impact on adults is currently unknown, safety advocates say that this is a good time to remind parents to keep lipstick away from children. If a particular shade does have a larger amount of lead in it or if a child accidentally eats a signficant amount, they could be at risk of lead poisoning.
As many parents know, lead poisoning can cause a variety of very harmful symptoms, including intellectual disabilities later in life.
If families are harmed by unsafe products, they have a right to pursue compensation and to hold the company that made the product accountable.
Source: The New York Times, "Is There Danger Lurking In Your Lipstick?" Deborah Blum, Aug. 16, 2013