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The FDA is investigating claims that certain lipsticks contain lead. Officials from the agency stated that similar claims in the past have not been confirmed.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics said that a third of the 33 red lipsticks examined by an independent lab contained a level of lead exceeding 0.1 parts per million — which is the FDA’s limit for lead in candy. The FDA does not set a limit for lead in lipstick.

The group’s report, called “A Poison Kiss: The Problem of Lead in Lipstick” found that the following brands contained lead: L’Oreal’s Colour Riche “True Red” and “Classic Wine”, Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red”, Christian Dior Addict “Positive Red”, and Maybelline’s Moisture Extreme “Cocoa Plum” and “Midnight Red”.

The organization’s goal of the study is to pressure companies to take the toxic chemicals out of consumer products and replace them with safe alternatives. The claims are generally not supported by the FDA’s analysis, but the agency is going to look into the specific details for this case.

According to the trade association, it has been recognized that there are small amounts of lead in some lipsticks, but the lead generally is not known about and is unintentionally added.

“Consumers are exposed daily to lead when they eat, drink water and breathe the air. The average amount of lead a woman would be exposed to when using cosmetics is 1,000 times less than the amount she would get from eating, breathing, and drinking water that meets Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards,” said John Bailey, an executive vice president at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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