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Toxic Lipstick? Think Twice About Puckering Up

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Ladies, your perfectly hued pucker may not be worth it after all. According to recent reports, your brand of lipstick may contain harmful metals that could lead to some serious health problems. A new study by the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health found that many popular lip products contained lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and other heavy metals–some at levels high enough to be toxic.

In total, researchers looked at eight different lipsticks and 24 lip glosses bought at drugstores. The metals that the researchers were most concerned about included cadmium, chromium, aluminum and manganese and especially in lip products because of the potential for ingestion. These metals were of concern because of their link with serious health problems; for example, cadmium has been linked to kidney damage.

The Food and Drug Administration has looked into the levels of metals in lipstick over the years, but has not decided that the amounts are dangerously high nor has it set maximum levels allowed in cosmetics. However, some consumer advocacy groups are pushing for stricter regulations for cosmetics, no matter the level of metal in the product. The researchers at UC Berkeley also say that their research is a first step for further research into the levels of metal in cosmetics and the potential health consequences.