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Friday, August 06, 2010

LEAD IN LIPSTICKS- HAZARDOUS SIDE EFFECTS TO HEALTH

Recently we have noticed a number of cases that caused inflammation on lips due to excessive use of lipsticks. The symptoms of lipstick poisoning varies from person to person. The lipstick poisoning can be classified into two different categories, allergic reactions and chronic lip eruptions. Chronic lip eruptions some times lead to cancer also. This matter was quite shocking and we enquired about the reasons behind such hazardous reactions.

lipstick dangers lipstick allergy

 

Why allergic reactions occurs from Lipsticks

The allergic reactions are due to the presence of any of the ingredients used in the manufacture of lipsticks. It can be the color, preservative, lead or any other material present in the lipstick. Usually, this reactions will disappear upon the discontinuation of the application of lipstick.

 

Why lip eruptions and cancer happens due to long term lipstick use

This mostly happens after a long term use of lipsticks. We have found that the presence of Lead in the lipsticks is the major cause for such reactions. Almost all major brands of lipsticks contain Lead in considerable quantity. This get mixed with the saliva and reaches the stomach even after 6 hours of application. In 1990s, reports of analytical results from a commercial testing laboratory suggested that traces of lead in lipstick might be of concern

How to determine Lead content in Lipsticks?

FDA scientists developed and validated a highly sensitive method for the analysis of total lead content in lipstick and applied the method to the same selection of lipsticks evaluated by the CSC. FDA found lead in all of the lipsticks tested, ranging from 0.09 ppm to 3.06 ppm with an average value of 1.07 ppm. FDA concludes that the lead levels found are within the range that would be expected from lipsticks formulated with permitted color additives and other ingredients that had been prepared under good manufacturing practice conditions.

Determination of total lead in lipstick can be done by laboratory methods such as development and validation of a microwave-assisted digestion, inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometric method. http://journal.scconline.org/pdf/cc2009open/cc060n04/p00405-p00414.pdf

Action by FDA on lead poisoning in lipsticks

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received a number of inquiries regarding reports of lead contamination in lipstick. According to FDA website, FDA does not believe that the lead content found in its recent lipstick analyses is a safety concern. However, the agency is planning to investigate a wider range of lipsticks than has been tested so far, including lipsticks similar to those recently assessed for lead content by another laboratory. If FDA determines that a safety concern for lead in lipstick exists, the agency will advise the industry and the public and will take appropriate action under the authority of the FD&C Act in protecting the health and welfare of consumers. 

Possible risks of lead contamination in lipsticks

Lead is poisonous substance to animals that may damage the nervous system and causes brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and the bones. Long-term exposure to lead or its salts (especially soluble salts or the strong oxidant PbO2) can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains. It may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, or ankles.

Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure, particularly in middle-aged and older people and can cause anemia. Exposure to high lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. Chronic, high-level exposure have shown to reduce fertility.

References:
  1. Hepp, N. M., Mindak, W. R., and Cheng, J., "Determination of Total Lead in Lipstick: Development and Single Lab Validation of a Microwave-Assisted Digestion, Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometric Method," Journal of Cosmetic Science, Vol. 60, No. 4, July/August, 2009.
  2. Letter from Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General, State of California to J. L. Sean Slattery, David Lavine, and Laralei Paras regarding Proposition 65 claims concerning lead in lipstick, March 3, 2008.
  3. Al-Saleh, I., Al-Enazi, S., and Shinwari, N., "Assessment of Lead in Cosmetic Products," Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 54, pp. 105-113, 2009. December 27, 2007; updated June 25, 2009, September 2, 2009, and November 3, 2009

Source: FDA

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