Health Written by naturalskinrx

May 15

Lipstick Found to Contain High Levels of Toxins

rainbow-lipstick-chickAvailable in hundreds of rich hues and textures, lipstick is a staple of any makeup wardrobe. It is a favorite way to express individual style. For centuries, women of every culture have accentuated their femininity and heightened their beauty with lip color.

Today, a new study raises concerns about the safety of conventional lipstick since lip products contain toxic chemicals. Previous studies also raised concerns, but the new study is the first to suggest dangerous levels of lipstick toxins.

Environmental Health Study

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) conducted an analysis of 32 common lip products sold in stores today. On May 2, 2013, the researchers published their findings in the journal of “Environmental Health Perspectives.” Their findings are alarming, to say the least.

Most of the cosmetics in the study contain aluminum, cadmium, chromium and six other heavy metals. Finding these metals is not the issue, however. The problem lies in the levels at which these metals occur.

Although all of the lip products — eight lipsticks and 24 lip glosses — contain heavy metals, not all of the metals occur at very high levels. Low levels do not create a significant health risk, but the risk increases as exposure increases.

Toxic Metal Health Risks

According to the UCB study, women who wear lipstick may increase their risk of developing serious health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, nerve damage and cancer. Unlike other cosmetics, lipstick is continually absorbed or ingested by the women who wear them.

Even modest use of lip products can cause excessive exposure to toxins like chromium, a known carcinogen, and cadmium, which is linked to kidney disease.

About 75 percent of the products in the UCB study contain lead, which is known to cause brain and cellular damage. This is troubling news since any lead exposure is unsafe for children, and many young girls wear lipstick in their dress-up games.

Lipstick Toxins and the FDA

Sa Liu, the author of the UCB study, thinks the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should pay attention to the new findings. Although the study was small, it tested product brands that are available in stores across the country. Some of the ingredients are harmful enough to cause long-term health effects.

In late 2011, the FDA did conduct a study on lead in lip products. Of the 400 unique samples it tested, every one of them contained lead. Even more shocking, 95 percent had more lead than the FDA permits in candy bars. The federal agency discounted its findings, however. It declared that the lead content was low enough to avoid safety concerns.

The UCB study is definitely a preliminary one that requires further investigation. While the researchers do not want women to panic or give up lipstick altogether, they caution consumers to be aware of the health risks involved in wearing lipstick. The findings are not trivial, and the safety concerns must be addressed.

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