News: High levels of toxic chemicals found in common cosmetics

Before you apply the hottest new hue of lipstick, you might want to consider the chemicals that lurk inside it.A new study from the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, which tested 32 common lipsticks and lip glosses, found lead, cadmium, chromium and aluminum - among other metals, at levels that could be […]

lipstickwomanmakeupchemicalsinmakeup

Before you apply the hottest new hue of lipstick, you might want to consider the chemicals that lurk inside it.

A new study from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health, which tested 32 common lipsticks and lip glosses, found lead, cadmium, chromium and aluminum – among other metals, at levels that could be damaging.

"Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter," study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, said in a press release. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."

In Canada, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure cosmetics are safe.

Health Canada says heavy metal impurities in cosmetic products are unavoidable, but has suggested impurity limits for lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and antimony.

However, impurity limits in cosmetics have not been developed for selenium, barium and chromium.

Meanwhile, the European Union considers cadmium, chromium and lead to be unacceptable ingredients – at any level – in cosmetic products, according to the study’s authors.

If you’re concerned about chemicals in your cosmetics and want to find out how your favourite brand measures up, check out the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database. You can search your favourite brand and find out if their products are in the high, medium or low risk category for a variety of factors.

I just checked up on one of my favourite lipsticks – Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar – and found that it has a score of 3 (which is low to medium risk). Phew!

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

Related:
News: Most Canadians have BPA in urine, lead traces in blood
Why your makeup may be dangerous
The truth about cosmetic preservatives

Related content:

  • News: Autism linked to air pollutionNews: Autism linked to air pollution If you live in a highly-polluted area and are planning to have children, a new study might make you consider a move.The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, […] Posted in Blog post
  • Find a quit-smoking buddy (or three)Find a quit-smoking buddy (or three) We’ve all heard of (and perhaps indulged in) social smoking. Now a study in the New England Journal of Medicine has introduced a new concept: social quitting.It’s an idea worth […] Posted in Blog post
  • worldaidsday_20World AIDS Day: How you can help December 1 is World AIDS Day, and M.A.C Cosmetics wants you to help those suffering from HIV/AIDS in Canada and around the world by purchasing products at M.A.C that raise funds for the […] Posted in Blog post

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

Strawberries

Nutrition: Strawberries help fight disease

Just in time for strawberry season, Spanish and Italian researchers have shown that eating strawberries daily increases red blood cells’ response to disease-causing oxidative stress, according to a report in Science Daily News.For the study, volunteers ate 500 grams (a generous pound) of strawberries over the course of a day, every day for two weeks. […]

Fibromyalgia2_18

Fibromyalgia

So many doctors are unfamiliar with the painful and confusing condition called fibromyalgia that just getting a diagnosis may be something of a relief. You can now begin an effective treatment program and quickly get on the road to recovery.