This story does the rounds every few months or so and each time it resurfaces I think there will be some horrendous scandal where a brand has been caught poisoning us. But no. This is never the case, and Colin from www.colinsbeautypages.co.uk, who is a scientist, a product formulator and no-nonsense all-round know-everything about beauty formulations has a feature on his blog telling us why a little lead (little being the operative word) never did us any harm. Below is an excerpt and please click through to read the rest of it here: http://colinsbeautypages.co.uk/lead-in-lipstick/
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I think it’s enough to hear “lead” and we are instantly scared. Of course we don’t want led in our make up.
Scare tactics works so easy and not enough people take the time do the research before taking online information for granted.
Are you referring to the report that listed 400 lipsticks that had higher levels of lead but not dangerous amounts of lead?
And isn’t the issue, not so much that the lead in lipstick is insignificant, but how many products are we consuming that contain traces of harmful products that are not at dangerous levels, but the sum of all these trace products including prolonged, persistent consumption is where the problem lies.
We are not consuming lipstick with insignificant quantities of lead in isolation of other products with zero quantities of any harmful substance.
We need to look at our consumption more holistically rather than in isolation. Be informed of the latest scientific fact and apply precautionary principles to consumption.
@ Mandulis. Where are you getting your data? Has there been a valid and generalizable longitudinal study of how lead in lipstick affects consumers over time? Or are you making assumptions about cause and effect based on anecdote?
@Christine Brigid the link provided actually took you to a survey carried out by Frontier Global Services for the US FDA – http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm137224.htm#expanalyses
I am not aware of any studies that have researched the longterm effects of prolonged use of lipstick products that contain traces of lead. However, you might be aware of the precautionary principle that the EU takes with regards to products that may be deemed to be harmful in the longrun, which is a different approach that the FDA takes in America. For example Sech Vite – when its licensed in SoCal has to contain a label saying “contains products that could lead to birth defects”, here in the EU they have to completely remove these products. As a consumer you do your research if it bothers you, you don’t purchase the product, if it does you switch to something else. So in the Sech Vite example are you suggesting the EU change its precautionary principle and SoCal remove the labels on the product. And then in the future how many consumers will be lining up to sue governments and corporations from hiding information about products that they knew had traces of something that potential could harm etc Remember the Tobacco lawsuits.
I am always of the policy, inform the consumer, they are not stupid they can make their minds up. But don’t always label things as just another scare story.Because I can assure you there are enough hungry lawyers out there who will happily make a meal ticket out of this.
I wrote a rant about this as well, which was probably unusual coming from a natural beauty advocate and blog. Normally, green bloggers would be all over it and jump on the “OH NO ITS LEAD” bandwagon, but I decided against that. Not only is the news old (as you’ve mentioned), but the levels are not enough to scare me.
Perhaps it’s because I don’t wear lipstick to begin with, but I am not a fan of using fear to get people to either believe what you say or buy what you sell.
I’ve always been a fan of letting the public decide. Educate them with facts, and then from that bit of data, they can make the decision on whether it’s worth indulging in their product or food of choice. Making the decision for them isn’t right – it takes away that basic freedom all consumers should have with the amount of options that are out on the market.