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
  • News: Sit on the couch, get some exerciseNews: Sit on the couch, get some exercise  Want to lose a few pounds? You may be able to forgo the treadmill and spend time watching your favourite funny movies instead.At the recent Experimental Biology conference in […] Posted in Blog post
  • Hair care for sensitive scalpsHair care for sensitive scalps It's not uncommon to have sensitive skin—and sensitive scalps fall under that category, too. Do you find that some hair-care products irritate your scalp? A new line from […] Posted in Blog post
  • Canada’s water shameCanada’s water shame Imagine not being able to use water from the tap without boiling it first. Not being able to take a bath. Or, worrying about your children being afflicted by E.coli poisoning. These sound […] Posted in Blog post
  • Debate: Should Canada raise the cigarette-buying age?Debate: Should Canada raise the cigarette-buying age? Nicotine has been shown to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, yet young Canadians are given the opportunity to form an addiction as early as 18-years-old. (In Canada, the legal age for […] Posted in Blog post

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

mediterranean roasted vegetable soup

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasting the onions, garlic, peppers, potatoes and zucchini caramelizes their natural sugars to bring out tantalizing sweetness. The pan juices, which contain minimal fat, are added to the roasted vegetable soup so you won’t lose a drop of Mediterranean flavour.

wen

5 hot new hair products

We searched, we found, we share with you: Consider making some room on your hair-care shelf for one or more of these hair products

food journal

Top 5 tips for achieving weight-loss goals

In The G.I. Diabetes Clinic, diet guru Rick Gallop explains how to battle weight gain with smart strategies. Here are his top five tips for achieving your weight-loss goals.

yoga mat abstract

How to choose the best yoga mat

Looking to buy a yoga mat? If you think the only considerations are its colour and design, think again. Not all yoga mats are created equal. Here’s how to make the best decision