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article imageDeadly lipstick: Lead found in leading brands in US

By Paul Wallis     Jul 19, 2008 in Health
The toxic slopfest in consumer products continues, with high lead levels found in lipsticks including Dior Addict. Dozens of others are also affected. Quantities of lead found are double the FDA level, in the case of the Dior product.
Lead is extremely dangerous, and shouldn’t be ingested, period.
The Sydney Morning Herald:
The blood-red Dior lipstick, sold at beauty counters across Australia, was among dozens of lipsticks found to contain lead, after US lobby group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned an independent laboratory to test lead levels in 33 brand-name lipsticks.
The results, made public in a report last October, revealed 61percent of the lipsticks tested had detectable lead levels. One-third of the lipsticks exceeded the US Food and Drug Administration's accepted level of lead (0.1 parts per million) for products that are ingested. The Dior lipstick was found to contain 0.21ppm of lead.
One way of expressing the effect of lead on human biology is that when it’s ingested, it’s just as destructive as a bullet. It’s a non-metabolite, and a tissue destroyer, because as body acids break it down, it contaminates anything around it.
File off some lead from a fishing sinker, put it on a meat offcut, and watch what happens. The meat is almost instantly contaminated. Don't let anything eat that meat afterwards, either.
No great surprise, really, with the apparently incessant stream of dangerous consumer products on the market, that public health is such a serious issue, globally. The distribution system of global trade allows toxic materials to penetrate the entire consumer market.
Lead, however, as a consumer product, isn’t even theoretically necessary, in any consumable goods. It’s an El Cheapo additive to many materials, far less expensive than others.
It’s anyone’s guess what it’s doing in a lipstick, even so. This quote, therefore, is sort of relevant:
Peter Dingle, an environmental toxicologist from Murdoch University and author of the Dangerous Beauty booklet, has called for regulatory change to ban lead from cosmetic products to protect consumer health.
Mr Dingle says companies which claim the levels of lead in their products are too low to cause harm are talking nonsense.
"We've known for 200 years that lead is toxic and the research now is showing that lead, even at the absolute lowest concentration, still has a toxic effect on our body … not to mention the cumulative effect it could have."
Exposure to lead can result in intellectual and behavioural problems and has also been linked to kidney damage, infertility and miscarriage, among other adverse health affects. It has been estimated that the average woman ingests about 4.5kilograms of lipstick in a lifetime.
Hm. The information about exposure to lead is if anything on the safe side, a qualified understatement. Of that 4.5 kg,, 0.1% could be “acceptable” lead, apparently.
Nor are the other compounds in lipstick necessarily great for your health. The image culture is a killer, in more ways than one.
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