The FDA will double its efforts by reminding makeup manufacturers to maintain lead levels in cosmetics at 10 ppm. Although many cosmetic products contain lead, they do not represent a threat to users because this chemical’s levels are low.
Earlier this week, the FDA announced that those companies must keep lead levels at maximum 10 ppm in cosmetics, such as body lotion, blush, eye shadow, lip gloss, and lipstick among others.
However, the FDA’s regulation doesn’t apply to hair dyes as well. The agency analyzed 685 cosmetic products and established that 99 percent of them contained low lead levels. More precisely, they were below the FDA’s recommendation.
The agency started testing the lead levels in lipsticks nine years ago when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics discovered that lipsticks contained lead. The FDA released two previous reports in 2009 and 2011.
This week’s report is the third one presenting the results of the agency’s nationwide initiative. The testing was possible thanks to the scientists’ efforts who discovered a method to identify and measure the lead levels in cosmetic products.
Based on the findings, most products contained an average lead level of just 1 ppm. According to the FDA officials, the surveys revealed that makeup manufacturers could limit lead content in cosmetics to less than 10 ppm if they stick to the safety guidelines and select their ingredients carefully.
The scientists have also calculated what was the risk for people to absorb lead from using lipstick compared to eye shadow. Although users are more likely to ingest the lipstick, the lead levels are so low that they have no risk to slowly poison themselves.
The agency warns that it is prepared to take active measures against any makeup manufacturer who doesn’t stick to the current regulations. If a future inspection reveals that externally applied cosmetics contain lead levels which are potentially harmful to women, the FDA will ban these products immediately.
According to the scientists, lead is an impurity which usually appears in cosmetic ingredients because it was present in the environment where the products were manufactured. In other words, lead is not an ingredient.
The FDA officials say that their target is to make sure that cosmetic products will never contain lead levels higher than 10 ppm.