Health Makes More Healthy


Lead in Lipstick – Is it a Problem or is it a Solution?

News agencies, TV stations, activity groups, and thousands of blogs all around the country are reporting about the lead presence in lipsticks. Several studies that have been done by independent research agencies found lead in lipsticks. And the lead levels were varying; from tiny amounts to very high levels.

The issue of lead presence in lipstick has even reached government officials. Stephanie Kwisnek, a spokeswoman at the FDA, said that they will look into the specific details of this issue. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, requesting a full investigation into lipstick products containing lead levels above the legal limit, as reported by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

However, the question is: are lead lipsticks a problem or a solution?

In other words, should we be concerned that women wearing lipsticks might be getting poisoned slowly by the lead getting absorbed into their bodies, or should we be finally happy that the relatively uncontrolled cosmetic industry is finally getting some heat for their actions?

As far as responsibility for the safety of cosmetics, FDA says that cosmetic firms (themselves) are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients that make up the products. Except for color additives and those ingredients which are prohibited or restricted from use in cosmetics by regulation, a manufacturer may use any ingredient in the formulation of a cosmetic provided that the ingredient and the finished cosmetic are safe.

We can assemble a panel of scientists to argue about the safety as far as being affected when the person’s health is immediately influenced by the ingredients in cosmetics or when having long term unknown effects to the health, and we will never arrive to a crystal-clear answer.

One thing for sure is that studies have proved that lipsticks do have lead and tons of other chemicals, and lead is not something that you would want to put into your body. As seen from toys contaminated with lead, it can be deadly.

Even though the lead levels in lipsticks are currently being presented and seen as a problem and perhaps are representing the overall presence of hundreds of other chemicals that we’re exposed to every day when applying cosmetics on our bodies, it can also be observed as a solution.

Since no one will dare to study the long term effects of these chemicals to the human health, because if the person dies the researcher would be held responsible, if there’s no immediate threat, learned from testing on animals, the companies will continue to add chemicals to the products.

But, it’s a common sense that when these chemicals accumulate in our bodies it would have a negative effect on our health.

So, we should be thankful that issues are being raised on the lead levels in lipsticks and hopefully governments around the world would take action to apply regulations and perhaps become aware of all of the other chemicals being present in today’s cosmetic products and how they could potentially affect our health and well being.

Lead presence in lipstick, even though presented and seen as a problem, it could advance into an overall solution to the exposure of chemicals from today’s cosmetic products. Our health may not be immediately affected when exposure levels are low, but when all these exposures accumulate, well, we can only guess how it would affect our health.

People continue to die and get affected by illnesses or better said by an increased number and a great variety of illnesses that the world is experiencing every year, every negative effect that we can reduce or eliminate would help.