Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics

Date:
May 2, 2013
Source:
University of California - Berkeley
Summary:
Researchers found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in a sample of 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores. Some of the metals were detected at levels that could raise potential health concerns.

Researchers found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in a sample of 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores.
Credit: © Minerva Studio / Fotolia

A new analysis of the contents of lipstick and lip gloss may cause you to pause before puckering.

Related Articles


Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores. They detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns. Their findings were published online today (Thursday, May 2) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Prior studies also have found metals in cosmetics, but the UC Berkeley researchers estimated risk by analyzing the concentration of the metals detected and consumers' potential daily intake of the metals, and then comparing this intake with existing health guidelines.

"Just finding these metals isn't the issue; it's the levels that matter," said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."

Lipstick and lip gloss are of special concern because when they are not being blotted on tissue or left as kiss marks, they are ingested or absorbed, bit by bit, by the individual wearing them, the study authors said. The researchers developed definitions for average and high use of lip makeup based on usage data reported in a previous study. Average use was defined as a daily ingestion of 24 milligrams of lip makeup per day. Those who slather on the lip color and reapply it repeatedly could fall into the high use category of 87 milligrams ingested per day.

Using acceptable daily intakes derived from this study, average use of some lipsticks and lip glosses would result in excessive exposure to chromium, a carcinogen linked to stomach tumors. High use of these makeup products could result in potential overexposure to aluminum, cadmium and manganese as well. Over time, exposure to high concentrations of manganese has been linked to toxicity in the nervous system.

Lead was detected in 24 products, but at a concentration that was generally lower than the acceptable daily intake level. However, the lead levels still raised concerns for young children, who sometimes play with makeup, since no level of lead exposure is considered safe for them, the researchers said.

The study authors say that for most adults, there is no reason to toss the lip gloss in the trash, but the amount of metals found do signal the need for more oversight by health regulators. At present, there are no U.S. standards for metal content in cosmetics. The authors note that the European Union considers cadmium, chromium and lead to be unacceptable ingredients -- at any level -- in cosmetic products.

"I believe that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should pay attention to this," said study lead author Sa Liu, a UC Berkeley researcher in environmental health sciences. "Our study was small, using lip products that had been identified by young Asian women in Oakland, Calif. But, the lipsticks and lip glosses in our study are common brands available in stores everywhere. Based upon our findings, a larger, more thorough survey of lip products -- and cosmetics in general -- is warranted."

Ann Rojas-Cheatham, director of research and training at the Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice in Oakland, Calif., co-authored the study. The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Education Research Center helped support this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Berkeley. The original article was written by Sarah Yang. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Liu S, Hammond SK, Rojas-Cheatham A. Concentrations and Potential Health Risks of Metals in Lip Products. Environ Health Perspect, 2013 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1205518

Cite This Page:

University of California - Berkeley. "Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502082249.htm>.
University of California - Berkeley. (2013, May 2). Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502082249.htm
University of California - Berkeley. "Poison lips? Troubling levels of toxic metals found in cosmetics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502082249.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins