The FDA has spent the last five years testing the lead levels in hundreds of brands of lipstick. About 400 tubes were found to contain above average amounts of lead. What they haven’t tested is the effect that lead is having on women who wear these lipsticks.
“Just because there’s lead in lipstick does not mean that there’s a danger. It takes a lot of lead over a long period of time to cause symptoms or damage,” according to Dr. Bruce Hensel in an NBC report.
With all due respect, Dr. Hensel, as I said in a 2008 post on lead in lipstick, I don’t believe that any levels of lead could be healthful in a product that gets eaten off your lips and reapplied constantly. Heavy metal toxicity can be slow, insidious, and catastrophic to your health.
The FDA has been receiving suggestions to look into lead in lipstick since the 1990s, in particular the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has put on the pressure, so I’m glad they’re moving on it now. Let’s hope they don’t bend to the cosmetics industry who would like to keep their million-dollar formulas intact, even at the expense of their consumer’s health.
For me, the most surprising brand to see in the top ten highest levels of lead was a lipstick from The Body Shop. It just doesn’t seem to conform to the mission of its founder, the late, great, Anita Roddick. Maybe they just didn’t know.
If you suspect you might be suffering from heavy metal toxicity, some signs you can check for are a black tongue or black veins on the underside of the tongue, or a thin black line stretching horizontally across the base of your fingernails. There are a number of ways you can eliminate the heavy metals from your body, some safer than others, so research carefully before undertaking any treatment.