One of the readers of this blog, who also happens to be one of the smartest men I know, was kind enough to question the assertion I made in a previous post about there being lead in certain colors of lipstick. He pointed me to the Snopes page that addresses the urban legend about being able to test for lead in lipstick with a gold ring.
First, I want to say Thanks, not only for reading this blog but for calling me out and questioning something I said! I am by nature an academic, and if I am misinformed, I want to know!
However, on this point, the Snopes page debunked the myth about being able to test for lead with a gold ring (which wasn’t part of my post) but confirmed the fact that, indeed, some lipsticks, particularly red ones, contain lead. Snopes accepts the FDA’s assurances that these are very low levels of lead and don’t pose a health threat.
Unfortunately, the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act addressed “tolerances for certain poisonous substances…”, and does not take into account variations of the human body and the tolerance levels of individuals, which are certainly not universal.
Last year, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics ran its own tests verifying the presence of lead in lipsticks and noting that, although the levels of lead in lipsticks are around what’s considered a safe level (by the FDA) of lead in candy (what? there’s a safe level of lead in candy? Why is there lead in candy at all? Is there anyone truly watching and protecting our health and the health of our kids? More and more, I fear the answer is “no.”), since lead is bio-accumulative, no levels of lead are safe to continually introduce into our bodies.
Personally, I would rather not play roullette with my health and only purchase products that I’m certain do not contain any lead. Which leads me back to my original excitement about the mineral lipstick. 🙂