The FDA study reveals the most toxic lipstick was found to contain a lead level of 7.19 parts per million (ppm) — a significant increase since the last FDA study in 2007. To put this number in context, the current maximum allowable lead level in drinking water is 15 parts per billion (ppb).
According to Dr. Philip Landrigan, who spearheaded the removal of lead, a toxic chemical, in paint and gasoline in 1978, as a result, 30 years later, this discovery has produced a 95% decline in childhood lead poisoning, increased the average IQ by six points, and saved the U.S. government $200 billion each year.
But should we be concerned with hollywood’s vested images in promoting a fatal attraction to the color red?
While consumer advocate groups argue that no level of lead is safe — as exposure builds up over time as lipstick is used — the FDA believes otherwise. “The levels we found are within the limits recommended by other public health authorities for lead in cosmetics,” they said.
But we all know the race for Oscar is fraught with a competition which means more than just the color of lipstick. This year’s contender’s will walk the red carpet unknowing that even the smallest amounts of lead can cause brain damage in infants and children. Dr. Landrigan strongly recommends that women avoid any lipstick that contains lead. “A child’s vulnerability to lead is greatest in the nine months of pregnancy — causing damage to the developing brain during the earliest weeks, before a woman is even sure that she is pregnant.”
Tomorrow night’s event the price for fame comes with the misfortune of learning that the cosmetic industry will go to great lengths to make you think that beauty is not ONLY skin deep. But a walk on The Lead Carpet may prove that all that glitter is not worth the price for gold.
For lead-free alternatives, see the Daily Green’s list of 11 lead-free lipsticks.