Monday, November 6, 2017

Lead in Cosmetics

We all know that lead is a problem and in many objects we interact with in our daily lives. Cosmetics provide a new set of products to watch out for. In December 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft guidance for the cosmetic industry, which was handed down after testing found lead to be present in various external cosmetic products. After 8 years of testing and research, lead was identified in lipsticks, lip glosses, lip liners, eye shadows, blushes, shampoos, and lotions. As a result, the FDA has decided to recommend the limit of lead on cosmetics be set at 10 parts per million (ppm). The products tested were well below that limit according to the FDA. These recommendations are not legally binding, and are just suggestions for the industry.
While none of these products were over the new limit recommended at 10 ppm, there are still health consequences of using these products. Lead can still be absorbed through the skin or accidentally ingested when using these products. This may not be a large problem for adults, who are less susceptible to the effects of lead, but these products can still harm children. Children are more susceptible to lead, so extra care should be taken with cosmetic products.
What can parents do since the FDA has only created guidances? There are a few steps that you can take to protect your household. Ensuring that cosmetics are out of reach of babies and toddlers who are likely to try to eat them is a good start. Lead free cosmetic items are also available, which helps to keep dress-up play or Halloween safe for kids. Also knowing what is in common household products can help keep you and your children healthy. Lead is never included on labels for any products, but are present in these products. Doing a little research of different brands before buying can go a long way in protecting your family. Brands such as L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Cover Girl have tested the highest for lead levels. Knowing what brands test high or don’t even allow lead in cosmetics can help you protect your household.