QMI Agency –
More lead with that lipstick?
Canadian environmental group Environmental Defence released a report Monday that found unreported levels of heavy metals in popular makeup products.
One product, Benefit Benetint Pocket Pal (Red Tint) lip gloss, contained seven of the eight metals tested for, and contained more than 10 times the lead limit in cosmetics set out in a draft Health Canada guideline.
The lab analysis of five foundations, four concealers, four powders, five blushes or bronzers, seven mascaras, two eye liners, 14 eye shadows and eight lipsticks or glosses found that all but one product contained at least two of the eight metals tested for concern.
“Canadians deserve to know what is in their cosmetics,” Environmental Defence director Rick Smith said. “Given the choice, we think most consumers would not put arsenic or lead on their lips and faces.”
Heavy metals can build up in the human body over time and, as a group, are known to cause health problems ranging from cancer to reproductive and developmental disorders, contact dermatitis and brittle hair and nail loss, Environmental Defence said.
The products were tested for detectable levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, beryllium, thallium and selenium, and all but mercury made an appearance in the results.
Heavy metals occur naturally in the environment, and under Health Canada guidelines can’t be intentionally added to cosmetic products.
But the metals can make their way, in trace amounts, into raw materials and when they unintentionally make their way into cosmetics, they are not required to be identified on the label.
Of the four metals deemed toxic by Health Canada, arsenic was found in 20% of the products, cadmium, a known carcinogen, was detected in 51%, lead was detected in 96%, the study found.
Environmental Defence asked six women across Canada to name five makeup products they use regularly, and they identified five products they were interested in having tested.
The products were sent to SGS Canada, an accredited lab in Lakefield, Ont., for analysis.