The federal government found trace levels of lead in 400 of the nation’s most popular lipsticks. The ten highest levels of lead were found in L’Oreal, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Stargazer and NARS lipstick brands. In fact, two of the top ten exceeded the lead threshold that ought to trigger a product warning label.
The Campaing for Safe Cosmetics found that more than half of major brand cosmetics had lead levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (the FDA’s limit for candy is 0.1 ppm). Sadly there is no product label warning required.
Lead toxicity is common and very serious. If ingested or inhaled, lead is stored in teeth, hair and bone where it has a half-life of 20 years. Since bone is constantly being remodeled, the lead is leached into the blood where it has a half-life of around 40 days, ultimately excreted into the urine. It is while circulating in the blood that lead causes its neurotoxicity, anemia, and other serious health problems. Lead has no physiological function in the body. A woman who has lead stored in her bones can have significant levels in her blood even if she is not currently exposed to lead products. Lead poisoning in pregnant woman can lead to miscarriages, small fetal size, and premature birth. Most worrisome, because lead crosses the placenta from mother to fetus, it has profound neurotoxic effects that cause serious learning and behavioral problems.
What can you do? Go to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website (www.safecosmetics.org) and do your own research on cosmetics in general. Find out what products are safe. Simply don’t buy harmful cosmetics and let the egregious companies know that you are actively avoiding their products. Support the government in its regulation of such products (consider who you're voting for-- don’t vote for candidates that oppose such regulations!). And write to your representatives in government. Take a stand: escape the kiss of death.
The Doctor Behind the Medicine:
Dr. Martin went to medical school at UCSF. He has now retired from his long and brilliant career as an anesthesiologist, now playing guitar and making bread on his spare time. Dr. Martin and three associates have started a delicious commercial wine, MC4. For those who are 21 and older, I advise you to check out MC4-- cheers!