Lead in Lipstick Should Worry the FDA—and You, Too

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a report that it found lead in hundreds of shades of popular brands of lipstick found everywhere from drugstores to department stores.

The agency said that the lead levels it found pose no health risk. However, this claim flies in the face of scientific consensus that there is no such thing as a safe level of lead.

In fact, two populations are at heightened risk of harm from lead – particularly from lipstick:
• Pregnant women, because lead exposure during fetal development can cause neurological and cognitive defects; and
• Young girls, because their smaller stature and lack of fully developed blood/brain barriers leave them vulnerable.

This development is another example of the need for adequate health and safety testing of consumer products. From a public health policy perspective, there should be a zero tolerance policy for lead in consumer products—particularly those used by pregnant women and children.

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