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Popular lipsticks test positive for lead

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics finds lead in top brands including L'Oreal, Cover Girl and Christian Dior.

October 12 2007: 10:21 AM EDT

NEW YORK ( -- A significant proportion of lipstick manufactured in the United States and used by millions of American women contains surprisingly high levels of lead, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said Thursday.

According to new product tests, 61 percent of the brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, which can be toxic if ingested.

The top brands testing positive for lead included L'Oreal Colour Riche "True Red," L'Oreal Colour Riche "Classic Wine," Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor "Maximum Red" and Dior Addict "Positive Red."

The companies were not immediately available for comment.

One-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the Food and Drug Administration's limit for lead in candy -- a standard established to protect children from directly ingesting lead, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure.

Although lipstick products are also ingested into the body, the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick, the CSC said.

The FDA "has set strict limits for lead levels allowed in the colors used in lipsticks," according to John Bailey, the executive vice president for the Science Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association. "The products identified in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report meet these standards."

"Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure," Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, president, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice, said in a statement.

The lead tests were conducted by an independent laboratory over the month of September on red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, Conn., San Francisco and Minneapolis.


Neways new "True Touch" Cosmetics  have NO lead in the lipsticks.



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