WASHINGTON Responding to a report released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics on lead in lipstick, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association issued a statement stressing that all of the products identified in the report meet Food and Drug Administration standards and the California standards for safety established under its Proposition 65 process.
“Despite continuous allegations over the years, lead is not intentionally added to cosmetics. Lead is a naturally occurring element that is found everywhere in the environment,” stated John Bailey, executive vice president for science cosmetics at CTFA. “Consumers are exposed daily to lead when they eat, drink water and breathe air. 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.”
CTFA is the trade association representing the cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance industry in the United States and globally. It has a membership of more than 600 companies, including manufacturers, distributors and suppliers.
Bailey’s comments are in response to the findings of new product tests released Thursday by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which claim that more than half of the 33 brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million.
The coalition of public health and consumer rights' groups further claims that one-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the FDA’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy.
An independent laboratory conducted the tests during September on red lipsticks bought in Boston; Hartford, Conn.; San Francisco; and Minneapolis.
“The FDA has set daily safe levels for lead exposure for adults, children and pregnant women. The agency also has set strict limits for lead levels allowed in the colors used in lipsticks, and actually analyze most of these to ensure they are followed,” stated Bailey of CTFA. “The products identified in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report meet these standards. In fact, all of the products tested in the CSC report meet the California standards for safety established under their Prop 65 process.”
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling on the industry to reformulate products to remove lead and to require suppliers to guarantee that raw materials are free of lead and other contaminants.
Added Bailey, “Despite the negligible levels of lead found in some lipsticks, cosmetic companies are committed to reducing that level even further. For decades, cosmetic companies have worked to minimize all product contamination, including lead. They actively and continually review all raw materials to ensure that they contain the lowest levels of impurities possible. Cosmetic companies have some of the world’s leading chemists, toxicologists and biologists to evaluate all the safety information.”