How Much Lead Would You Eat?o

If you knew lead was in a product you used, would you still use it?

The Washington Post just released an article on 400 lipstick samples that contain lead. The FDA has been studying lead levels in lipstick .  In fact, their original studies go back at least to 2007 when lead was found in lipstick by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Unfortunately, they did not pass any legislation that would protect consumers or require manufacturers to identify lead as an ingredient in cosmetics.

The CDC concludes that no exposure to lead is safe.  Women continue to use lipstick that has lead in it and the FDA continues to study this ingredient but has taken no actions to notify consumers of potential risks. 

In December 2011, the FDA released an updated study stating their “results do not show levels of lead in lipstick that would pose a safety concern.”  The FDA has also set no limitations on lipstick, although they have them set for candy (and actually lowered the acceptable limits from .5 ppm to .1ppm in candy likely to be eaten by children).

When the study was done in 2007, only 3 lipsticks were found to have more than 2.0 ppm of lead with the highest sample having 3.06 ppm.  The study released in December 2011 found 51 samples over 2.00 ppm with the top offenders having over 7.0 ppm and 14 of the the top tainted samples over 3.0 ppm. These results seem to show the problem getting worse, don’t they?  How long do we play Russian roulette waiting for statistics to come in with adverse effects showing the toxicity of lead in lipstick?  I’m providing you with links to the studies, the results and other information so you can see the data yourself and make informed choices. I am taking this information seriously especially for my growing daughters who will soon want to wear make-up and have already been getting “lipstick” type products from friends.

This evidence is pretty compelling, and for me this subject hits too close to home. Last year I was tested for heavy metals and found to have high concentrations of lead in my system. I’ve had friends ask me where my exposure has come from and I honestly don’t know. I did wear lipsticks for years, some of them brands now shown to be high in lead.  I will never know for sure if the lipsticks I used contributed to my high levels, but I am eliminating any possible sources of lead exposure.

Lead toxicity mainly occurs from ingestion.  Do you think that some of your lipstick is being ingested if you wear it while eating? I think the answer is obvious if you have less lipstick on after dinner than when you started. And where does the lipstick go after you’ve kissed someone? I’ll be sharing with you some things I’ve learned on my journey to remove the lead and other heavy metals from my system over the coming months.

How do you know if you have lead toxicity in your system? Often the symptoms are vague, especially if the exposure is gradual over months or years. In my case, I began having random tingling sensations in my legs. My doctor ordered a urine test to find out what my body would excrete.  Lead has a half life of 30 years once it reaches the bones. The body identifies lead similar to calcium, so if you are deficient at all in calcium (like pregnant and nursing women) your body is more likely to absorb the lead thinking it might be calcium. This also makes the removal tricky because you want to remove the lead without depleting your body of precious calcium. I am not a doctor and not prescribing treatment for heavy metal removal, I just want to be real with you that these studies and the risks of exposure to lead are real. I am also not making any recommendations for removing heavy metals from your system, I’ll just share some of the things I’ve done while working with a holistic medical doctor.

Would you be comfortable using a product on your skin that you knew had lead in the ingredients? What do you think about the FDA is not passing any regulations regarding lead and lipstick?  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, if you want to make sure that your lip products are safe, check out

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