Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Lead in Lipstick
The results: 61 percent of lipsticks contained lead, with levels ranging up to 0.65 parts per million. Lead-contaminated brands included L'Oreal, Cover Girl and even a $24 tube of Dior Addict. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration promised it would conduct an investigation, but dragged its feet in doing so.
It took nearly two years, pressure from consumers and a letter from three U.S. Senators, but in 2009 the FDA released a follow-up study that found lead in all samples of lipstick it tested, at levels ranging from 0.09 to 3.06 ppm – levels four times higher than the levels found in the Campaign study. FDA found the highest lead levels in lipsticks made by three manufacturers: Procter & Gamble (Cover Girl brand), L'Oreal (L'Oreal, Body Shop and Maybelline brands) and Revlon. Yet FDA has thus far failed to take action to protect consumers.
No Safe Dose
The recent science indicates there is no safe level of lead exposure.
“Lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of lead exposure,” according to Mark Mitchell, M.D., MPH, president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice.
“Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ, reduced school performance and increased aggression. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, because lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain where it can interfere with normal development,” according to Dr. Sean Palfrey, a professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University and the medical director of Boston's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. “Since recent science suggests that there is truly no safe lead exposure for children and pregnant women, it is disturbing that manufacturers are allowed to continue to sell lead-containing lipsticks."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states: “No safe blood lead level has been identified.” The agency suggests avoiding all sources of lead exposure, including lead-containing cosmetics. (Read CDC's lead exposure prevention tips.)
The Campaign continues to pressure the FDA to set a maximum limit of lead in lipstick, based on the lowest lead levels manufacturers can feasibly achieve. Thus far the agency has failed to take action to protect consumers.
A state bill to ban lead from lipstick passed the California Senate in 2008, but died after a massive industry lobby effort.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Market Shift: The story of the Compact for Safe Cosmeticsby the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
and the growth in demand for safe cosmetics
November 30th, 2011
Market Shift highlights the 322 cosmetics companies (we call them “Champions”) that met the goals of the Compact. Another 110 companies (we call them “Innovators”) made significant progress toward those goals.* This is great news for you, the consumer, and for the Campaign, the cosmetics industry and the lawmakers working to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act. These 432 companies are leading the industry toward safety, showing it’s possible to make products without using the hazardous chemicals that are all too common in conventional personal care products.
Search the list of Champion and Innovator companies
See which companies are Champions and which are Innovators
Frequently asked questions
Read the press release
More than 1,500 companies signed the Compact from its inception in 2004 until 2011. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics closed the Compact in August 2011. The research team at Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database developed tools for tracking each company’s compliance with the goals of the Compact. Through these tools the Campaign determined that 322 companies achieved “Champion” status by fulfilling the goals of the Compact, and another 110 companies reached “Innovator” status by getting most of the way there.
The report describes how these companies – from small mom-and-pop businesses to some of the largest businesses in the natural products sector – are setting a new high-bar standard for personal care products. The Champions are demonstrating best practices by:
*Due to an error in data analysis, one company was moved from Innovator to Champion status after the initial report release.