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Happy Valentine’s Day – Kiss Kiss!

Yesterday morning the Washington Post reported recent FDA findings on lead in lipstick for 400 lipsticks. (See below for link). I was very concerned by the paucity of the report. It seemed to lack context and background information. We all need to be concerned about how adulterants get into products. We need safe consumer products. We also need to be complete and truthful about the context, the threats and the real goals. While I understand that it is easier to focus on the cosmetic industry and to hope that women will put pressure on the government about beauty products, the real problem in this country is with chemicals and how they are made. The EPA is under constant attack by lobbyist and the current Congress to reduce their authority to mandate SAFETY and HEALTH for all Americans. Criticizing lipstick is a sidebar at best and distracts from the real issue at worst. The article failed to explain how different levels of lead are allowed in different agencies, from 15 ppm for water under EPA to 0.01ppm for children’s candy under the CPSC. Nor does it make clear that lead is not classified as a carcinogen but is a neural toxin for developing children. (In fact, the article does not say why lead is a problem at all). Babies exposed to lead tend to accumulate the lead in their bones where it continues to effect how their brains and other nerves develop into adulthood. There are not any studies that indicate any anyone has suffered anything from using lipstick (except that time I got in trouble for drawing on white walls with my mom’s lipstick when I was 3). Bottom line: everything can be safer and healthier. If we are serious about safety, we need to look at the chemical industry, the base manufacturer of everything we buy and use. This constant harping on the cosmetic industry seems to avoid the hard work of changing how we make and sell chemicals in this country. Let’s get real and do the hard work. Start by using as much organic product as possible. LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/400-lipstick-brands-contain-lead-fda-says/2012/02/14/gIQAhOyeDR_story.html

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