A study conducted on 32 of the most common lipsticks and lip glosses bought contain toxic metals according to a new study published May 2 in Environmental Health Perspectives. The government funded-journal stated that they contained chromium, lead, aluminum, cadmium and five other metals- some that might be at toxic levels according to University of California-Berkeley’s School of Public health researchers.
“This preliminary study of metal content in lip products suggests potential public health concerns,” the authors of this new study wrote.
In December, there was research done that also found lead in lipstick. The Food and Drug Administration did a survey of an assortment of 400 lipsticks and there was low levels, but the agency stated that there were no safety concerns at that time. The most recent study studied more metals and projected the health risk was derived from the metal’s strength and usual lipstick use.
When lipstick or lip gloss isn’t blotted on tissue or left as kiss marks, they are absorbed or ingested by the user. The health danger depends on how often and how heavy the product is applied. The average wearer puts on lipstick 2.3 times a day and ingests 24 milligrams daily. A heavy wearer will apply it as often as 14 times a day and ingest an average of 83 milligrams according to the UC study.
Even the average user of lipstick or lip gloss found that some of the products could result in extreme exposure to chromium, which is a carcinogen that is linked to stomach tumors. The higher than average user could end up with overexposure to cadmium, aluminum and manganese.
The results of the new study are preliminary, and additional research needs to be done since there is no U.S. standard for the contents of metal in cosmetics. However, the European Union feels that any level of chromium, lead or cadmium are unacceptable as ingredients in cosmetics.