Californian lawmakers dismiss lead in lipstick bill

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Health

The California Assembly Committee on Health has defeated a bill
proposing that manufacturers prove that their products contain no
more than 'an unavoidable trace of lead'.

The issue of lead in lipsticks hit the headlines last year after the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) published research claiming that many popular lipsticks contain unacceptably high levels of the poisonous metal. Responding to these concerns, Democratic politician Carole Migden introduced a bill requiring lipstick producers in California to report to the Department of Public Health that their products were tested and only unavoidable traces were found. Senator Migden defined an unavoidable trace as less than 0.02 parts per million (ppm), which is less than the amounts commonly found by the CSC in its study last year. However, the draft legislation was defeated by Californian lawmakers, according to the Personal Care Products Council. No sound scientific backing​ The Council opposed the legislation, which was sponsored by the CSC, calling it "a ban on lipstick products with no scientific basis." The Council also pointed out that lead is not added to lipsticks but is often present in tiny quantities by virtue of the fact that it is naturally occurring in the environment. The CSC claims that the presence of lead in certain lipsticks poses a health hazard were also dismissed in California recently by the Attorney General. Attorney General attacks study claims​ The Attorney General, Edmund Brown, reached his conclusion by considering the amount of lipstick used by women in relation to the Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) for lead laid down by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The MADL is set at a level where no noticeable effect is observed at over 1000 times that level. He said concentrations of lead would have to reach 5 ppm in lipstick and the CSC report only found lipsticks with a maximum level of 0.65 ppm. Studying the available peer-reviewed data the Attorney General took the assumption that the average consumer uses 100 milligrams per day of lipstick.

Related topics: Colour Cosmetics

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