Feds look to reduce lead levels in lipstick

Feds look to reduce lead levels in lipstick

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing for new limits on the amount of lead contained in lipstick and other cosmetic products.

The FDA’s draft guidelines issued Wednesday recommend no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead in lipstick, eye shadow, shampoo, shaving cream and lotion.

“Lead is a chemical element for which toxicity in humans has been well documented,” the FDA wrote. “Cosmetics manufacturers are responsible for avoiding potentially harmful levels of lead in their finished products.”


The FDA noted that the majority of cosmetic companies do not use enough lead to pose a health risk, but the agency is concerned about the small number of lipsticks that contain more than 10 ppm of lead.

The average lipstick contains slightly more than 1 ppm of lead, according to the FDA.

The FDA said the amount of lead exposure a customer receives depends on whether the product is intended to be left on all day, such as lipstick or eye shadow, or rinsed-off right away like shampoo.

“The amount of exposure also depends on how much product is applied to the skin,” the agency said. “For example, eye shadows are applied in very small amounts and only around the eyes. This means that exposure to lead from an eye shadow is approximately 150 times lower than exposure to lead from a cosmetic lip product."

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