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Lipsticks and glosses found to contain toxic metals

fashion and trends Updated: May 04, 2013 15:10 IST
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The quest for lush lips could be exposing women to toxic metals in lipsticks and glosses, a new study from the University of California Berkeley finds.

Researchers tested 32 different lip glosses and lipsticks commonly sold at drug and department stores in the US, but didn't reveal brand names. Some products were found to contain potentially dangerous levels of certain metals, including lead, cadmium, chromium, and aluminum.

"Lipsticks and lip glosses often have levels of toxic metals which approach or exceed acceptable daily doses based on public health guidelines," researcher Katharine Hammond, a professor of environmental health sciences, told HealthDay News. "At an average level of use, it's not likely to be an issue," she added, but it could be a concern for children playing with makeup or heavy adult users of lipsticks.

The study was published online May 2 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Trace amounts of metals in lip products need to be put into context," Linda Loretz, chief toxicologist for The Personal Care Products Council, said in a statement. "Food is a primary source for many of these naturally present metals, and exposure from lip products is minimal in comparison."

This isn't the first research to focus on toxins in lipsticks. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics previously tested 33 lipsticks, finding more than 60 percent contained lead. In addition, a December 2011 study of 400 varieties of lip products by the US Food and Drug Administration found lead in some products, but the agency said the levels were low enough to pose no safety concern.