From Emerald Apron’s Cosmetics Bag
Please entertain my rant, because I am ticked off beyond belief. According to a recent press release from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, lead is still found in many different brands of lipstick.
“The FDA study of 400 lipsticks was quietly posted on the agency’s website in December. The most contaminated brand in the study, Maybelline Color Sensation by L’Oreal USA, contained more than 275 times the amount of lead found in the least contaminated, and least expensive, brand, Wet & Wild Mega Mixers Lip Balm -- demonstrating that price is not an indicator of good manufacturing practices.”
This is something that I first heard about a few years ago, but apparently it’s been common knowledge for at least five years. Why is lead still in lipstick? I’m sorry, have we forgotten that lead is a known neurotoxin? That there are no safe levels of lead exposure for children, and that pregnant women and women of reproductive age should be especially careful to avoid lead? This isn’t BPA in plastic bottles. There is no question, NO DEBATE. There is scientific consensus that people should not be exposed to lead. There are regulations for the amount of lead in gasoline, paint, toys… so WHY is lead in lipstick unregulated? We don’t want children to eat paint chips that may contain lead, but we can have women applying lead to their lips, multiple times a day, consuming the lead with every sip or bite they take, and letting the lead absorb into their skin. I’m seriously frustrated by this, and I don’t even own a single tube of lipstick.
Why can’t these cosmetics companies do the right thing? It seems to me that they just don’t care about our health or our children’s health. Go ahead and check out the list of lipsticks that were tested and see what specific companies really don’t care about your health. I was especially disappointed to see Burt’s Bees on the list because it is the only company that I buy from. I’m seriously considering boycotting them, even though I don’t buy their lipstick. I do use their lip balm, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. But which company can I trust? Who can I buy from?I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t trust any company to care about my health. They only make changes when they are forced by regulations (and even then, change is slow or companies are noncompliant). So why can’t the FDA do the right thing and require that these companies keep lead out of their lipstick? According to the press release from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “The FDA said it is currently evaluating whether to recommend an upper limit for lead in lipstick. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is urging FDA to set a maximum limit for lead in lipstick based on the lowest lead levels cosmetic manufacturers can feasibly achieve.” As early as 2007, Senators Kerry, Boxer and Feinstein urged the FDA to begin regulating lead in lipsticks and other cosmetics. Seriously FDA? Stop evaluating and just do it. Why not do something to actually protect human health instead of listening to industry lobbyists?
Why don’t women stand up for themselves and demand better? Why don’t men stand up for women’s health while we’re at it? This isn’t about whether you choose to wear lipstick or choose not to wear lipstick. This isn’t an issue just for women, either. This is a human health issue and everyone should be concerned. I can’t help but wonder why a product like PAINT, which is used by all people, is seen as worthy of lead regulation while a product like lipstick, which is seen as only a women’s product, remains unregulated.
I choose to opt-out of most cosmetics by either just not wearing them or by making my own, but I don’t think that’s enough. It’s protecting me and my family, but it’s not protecting anyone else. So, what do you think we should do? Contact our representatives? Call for a mass boycott?