Get The Lead Out
Date Added: Aug. 21, 2003
If you put a lot of stock in the media, you've pretty much resigned yourself to the fact that everything causes cancer. Here's yet another chain letter that identifies an everyday product as a carcinogenic killer, and even offers a simple test that you can do to protect yourself. But is there any truth to it?
This is a Lipstick Test of the " Lead ",
Lead is a Chemical, and it will cause Cancer. Recently a Brand Name called, "Red Earth" They decrease their price of Lipstick from HK$67 to HK$9.9, because they have lead.
Please send this information to you friends or your girl friends.
Brand Name Contain Lead
1. Christian Dior 4
(If the number of lead is high, that means it more easily to cause Cancer)
After this test, we found Y.S.L. lipstick are the most beautiful lipstick when u wear it, but because of contain lots of lead, so it is not easy to "REMOVE". I believe everyone love to wear lipstick, now here is a test that you can do it yourself:
1. Put some lipstick on your hand,
Be Smart everyone! When u buy a product, quality is very important
First, it was anti-perspirants, then shampoo. Now, we're to believe that lipstick will kill us? Geesh! Based on the broken english and currency amounts given in the earliest versions of this chain, it appears to have originated in China in 2003. In 2007, food, toys and other products manufactured in China became the focus of numerous product recalls and discussions about safety and lead content.
Now, a few matters of semantics about the chain above: Lead is more accurately described as an elemental metal, not a "Chemical" as the letter above states. Furthermore, exposure to lead does not necessarily cause cancer - it is a neurotoxin. The results of lead exposure range from learning disabilities to death and depend on several factors including the type, length and degree of exposure and the person's age and overall health.
OK, then, do some brands of lipstick contain lead? Yes. Well, sort of.
The main ingredients in lipsticks are wax and oils. Then, of course, you need a dye to give the lipstick color. This is where the real, but minuscule risk of lead comes in. According to the FDA, some dyes used to make cosmetics do contain trace amounts of lead. However, the manufacturing process in the United States and many other nations is stringently monitored and each batch is tested to make sure that any lead content is well below that considered dangerous to humans.
In October, 2007, a group calling itself the Campaign for Safe Csmetics released a report titled "A Poison Kiss: The Problem of Lead in Lipstick. The report contains the results of tests conducted by an independent laboratory on red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, Conn., San Francisco and Minneapolis. Among the findings:
Their list of the most dangerous brands is somewhat different than the one in the chain letter, though interestingly, Christian Dior is in both lists:
While the chain letter above categorically condemns some brands of lipstick. The study published by the Campaign for Safe cosmetics showed a great deal of variance by product within a brand. For example they found that one product by Dior (Replenishing Lipcolor Red Premiere) purchased in Boston had no detectable levels of lead, while the same product purchased in Minneapolis tested positive for lead, but at a level well below the standards for candy. Similarly, Cover Girl had products in the highest list, as well as one (Queen Collection Ruby Remix) that contained lead, but below the standard for candy.
Maybelline NY was the only brand to only show up in the high-lead list, but it must be noted that their products are manufactured by L'Oreal, which had products under different brand name at all levels of lead content. Avon and Tarte were the only manufacturers whose products did not test positive for some level of lead.
The campaign makes these conclusions and recommendations based on this info:
"The laboratory results show that lead in lipstick is an unnecessary and avoidable problem. Thirteen of the lipsticks tested (39 percent) had no detectable levels of lead. The results also show that the more expensive brands are not necessarily safer: Dior Addict, on of the most contaminated samples, sells for $24.50 a tube, while the Revlon lipstick that contained no detectable lead retails for $7.49.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling on cosmetics companies to test their full product lines for lead, to reformulate immediately products fount to contain lead, to require from suppliers a guarantee that raw materials are free of lead and other contaminants, and to join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in demanding that the FDA more strictly regulate personal care products.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics' report is highly critical of the FDA for not doing enough to regulate what it considers to be an industry out of control. In response to this report, the FDA agreed it would look into the study's results, but an FDA spokesman cautioned that similar claims in the past failed to hold up under scruitiny, according to the Associated Press:
"These concerns have not generally been supported by FDA's own analysis of products on the market. In the present case, we are looking into the specific details of the issues raised," said Stephanie Kwisnek, a spokeswoman at the FDA. "We will need to confirm the factual basis of these reports independently in order to determine what action, if any, may be needed to protect public health."
The cosmetic industry seems to be dismissing the campaign's claims, admitting that they know some of their products contain "negligible" levels of lead, but that it is not intentionally added. Further, a spokesman for an industry trade group told the Associated Press that consumers should be far more concerned with other everyday products:
"Consumers are exposed daily to lead when they eat, drink water and breathe the air," said John Bailey, an executive vice president at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. "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."
Further, L'Oreal and Christian Dior have publicly challenged the campaign's testing methods, claiming their own tests have proven the products safe.
Even cosmetic safety watchdogs are skeptical of the Campaign's claims. Paula Begoun, cosmetic safety author and owner of Cosmeticscop.com, pointed out some flaws with the study's methods in a bulletin on her site, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
She noted that the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report "incorrectly states that lipstick is ingested like candy. It mentions the FDA's 0.01 parts per million limit for lead in candy, and that no such safety limits exist for lipstick. ... What's missing is that women aren't eating lipsticks in the same manner they do candy or food."
"In fact, the amount of lipstick that's actually ingested is minuscule compared to what comes off on coffee cups and other objects."
She added that "without question, lead is a harmful substance; however, there is simply no proof that the tiny amount that may be in some lipsticks is causing harm."
What makes the chain letter above very popular is the contention that scratching a stripe of lipstick with a gold ring reveal if it contains lead. This claim appears to be drawn from an old alchemist's trick of testing the purity of gold by rubbing ore on a dark stone (often containing lead) and comparing the streak with another of known quality. However, the process does not work in reverse. Even if it did, there would not be a large enough concentration of lead in a strip of lipstick to produce a visible change.
Yet, many readers have written to say they've tried the "scratch test" and found that their gold jewelry does indeed produce dark streaks in the lipstick. This is much more likely a reaction to the wax in the product than to lead. In fact, a variety of waxes will produce similar reactions with gold. Reliable detection of lead in a product requires rigorous scientific testing, and cannot be achieved "on the cheap" using normal household products.
BreakTheChain.org recommends against relying upon or forwarding any health advice via e-mail chain letters. What we have above is an anonymous person's work with no cited source. Even published research on the subject is met with a great deal of skepticism. Do your own research. Read both sides of the story, then decide for yourself. Break this chain.
References: Snopes.com, Hoax-Slayer.com, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, "Poison Kiss" report, AP Report, Cleveland Plain Dealer