Researchers Find Unlisted Heavy Metals in Many Cosmetics

In light of recent news that the FDA found lead in 400 brands of lipstick, Yahoo! Shine took a look at other products containing potentially hazardous ingredients. While the levels are much lower, according to a 2011 report by Environmental Defense, an Ontario-based research group, dangerous heavy metals still lurk in lip gloss, mascara, foundation, blush, eye shadow, and eyeliner.

The researchers tested a total of 49 common products selected from the cosmetic bags of six average Canadian women. They found that every product contained at least one of seven heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, beryllium, thallium, and selenium. Lead, a known neurotoxin, showed up in 96% of the items.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that lead exposure is not safe at any level. Heavy metals are considered a by-product of manufacturing and it’s worth noting that none were listed in the ingredients lists on the cosmetics’ labels.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which pushed for the FDA’s recent scrutiny of lipstick, points out that, “Individual exposures to these metals in small amounts are unlikely to cause harm, but heavy metals can build up in the body over time and may increase risk for a variety of health problems.” The U.S. Department of Labor links arsenic to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate.

The report notes that the highest levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead overall were found in lip gloss, which can be ingested orally.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Mail Online