News / Health

    Hundreds of Lipstick Brands Found to Contain Traces of Lead

    Zulima Palacio

    A chemical analysis of 400 popular lipstick brands, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has found that all the lipsticks contained lead, a toxic metal linked to severe health problems. The  agency says the lead levels are so low that the products are safe, but health groups insist there is no safe level.


    Women have always used lipstick to adorn themselves.

    Today, many use it not once but several times a day.  In a Virginia suburb, paramedic Denise Condetti says she loves lipstick. "I cannot imagine not using lipstick; I have to accent my lips," she said.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says all 400 lipstick products it tested, in response to consumer and health groups, contain trace amounts of lead.

    The FDA says the low levels of lead it found do not pose a safety risk.  "It does concern me slightly but not to the point that would prevent me from actually using the products," said Condetti.

    The US cosmetics industry sells products worth $50 billion a year. Halyna Breslawec is scientific director at the Personal Care Products Council, which represents more than 600 cosmetic companies.  "Lipsticks are safe.  Consumers should be not concerned about the safety of their lipsticks," she said.

    For many years, lead was used in gasoline, paint and many other products. But growing awareness of the dangers lead poses, particularly to children and pregnant women, caused it to be banned from most consumer products.

    The lead traces in lipstick come from natural pigments. The FDA has not set lead limits on these compounds.

    The cosmetic industry's Halyna Breslawec was asked whether pregnant women should continue to use lipstick.  "I think that is a personal choice.  I can tell you, though, that the safe levels of trace lead elements that have been recommended by the industry and other groups, the calculations on what is considered safe, are based on pregnant and lactating women," she said.

    Those assurances don't convince Jason Rano, director of government affairs with the Environmental Working Group, or EWG, a research and advocacy organization. "There is no safe level of exposure to lead," he said.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls lead a hazardous substance and says no safe blood levels have been established.  

    Rano says the EWG has posted a database on its website where people can learn the ingredients of personal care products they use... and whether or not they're safe. "You can enter your product right here with more than 69,000 products.  There are nearly 1,500 lipsticks in here," he said.

    Although the cosmetics industry says it has no plans to recommend changes in lipstick ingredients, EWG says it will continue to pressure Congress for stricter regulation of toxic chemicals, in cosmetics and other consumer products.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora