Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | September 4, 2009

FDA says lead in lipstick ok? No way!

red lips

Recently the FDA released their long awaited findings after testing major brand names for lead in lipstick. They actually found higher lead levels in lipstick than the report released by the Campaign for  Safe Cosmetics found in 2007.  The FDA found blood lead levels ranging from .09 parts per million to 3.06ppm. The FDA’s average level of 1.7 ppm is ten times higher than lead levels they allow in candy. On an interesting note, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no safe level of lead. We also know that lead accumulates in the body over a lifetime and is linked to neurological and motor functioning. Lead has also been linked to miscarriages and infertility. And YET, the FDA  says that it is safe for women and children to ingest small amounts of lead daily! Maybe the FDA should take a cue from the CDC.

Another troubling aspect of this report is the lack of public access to the findings. Even though it was funded with U.S. tax dollars, it was not freely released to the public. Instead it was quietly placed in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists that cost $35. The FDA also did not release the brand names of the lipsticks they tested and the lead levels for each brand.

As people of faith, we know that we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” with careful design beginning in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-17). We were made perfect and beautiful in God’s reflection (Genesis 1:26). Wearing lipstick and other makeup is a choice. The Bible speaks a lot to the value of wisdom. At the minimum need companies and our governemt to equip us with all the information so that we can make wise choices for our health when browsing the cosmetics aisle of the supermarket. Ideally, our products would be fully tested and regulated to reflect the precautionary principle.

New Healthy Spa Toolkit

New Healthy Spa Toolkit

In place of tighter regulations from the FDA and industry, the National Council of Churches just released Made In the Image of God Healthy Spa Workshop Guide and Toolkit for Congregations. It discusses our mandate to care about this issue as people of faith, provides safe cosmetics recipes to make at home or at church, and online resources for additional action and witness.


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