Lead Tests Raise Red Flag for Lipsticks
Hazardous levels found in one-third of market samples
By John C. Drake
Boston Globe, October 11, 2007
Parents worried about the dangers of lead in their children's toys, bibs, and homes are about to be confronted with a new potential hazard: their lipstick.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is releasing today product test results that found that more than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested contained lead. The lead levels in one-third of the lipstick samples, purchased from retailers in four cities, including Boston, exceeded 0.1 parts per million, which is the federal lead limit for candy.
The lead levels varied independently of the lipstick's cost, according to the coalition of public health and consumer rights' groups.
"There are hazardous levels of lead in lipstick," said Stacy Malkan, a cofounder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. "These tests are a wake-up call to the industry."
The lead levels should not concern healthy women without children in their homes, said Joel Tickner, a professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. But use of lead-tainted lipstick by pregnant women could lead to lead exposure for the fetus, and lead exposure for children who use lipstick is also a concern, he said.