FDA Encourages Awareness On Lipstick Containing Lead And Other Cosmetics

By Yafeng Zhang - 25 Dec '16 12:00PM

It is undeniable that there is a significant increase on the numbers of makeup and cosmetics manufacturers around the world. With the help of the internet and invention of 'sefies', many women and young girls have dived into the world of beauty. However, some cosmetics may do more harm than beauty itself.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidelines Wednesday aimed at regulating lead levels in lipstick and other cosmetic products. A maximum lead level of 10 parts per million (ppm) in certain cosmetics, including lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, blush and body lotion was recommended by the FDA. The guidance does not apply to "topically applied products" that are drugs or hair dyes, the agency said as reported by Health.com.

"We consider the recommended maximum lead level to be achievable with the use of good manufacturing practices and to be consistent with the 10 ppm maximum lead level for similar products recommended by other countries," the FDA wrote.

Lead can accumulate in the body over time and can affect almost every organ and system in the body. No amount of lead considered safe, though certain amounts are not considered "elevated." For adults, blood lead levels equal to or greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood are considered elevated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For children, it is half this amount.

It was also noted that lead can appear as an impurity in cosmetic ingredients due to its "background presence" in the manufacturing environment. In the surveys conducted by the FDA, these do not necessarily reflect the full range of products that are currently on the market but only a small number of samples had lead levels that exceed the maximum level being recommended. The agency's goal is to ensure that cosmetic lip products and externally applied cosmetics do not contain lead as an impurity at levels that would pose a health risk.

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