News Room

Statement by John Bailey on Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Report on Lead in Lipstick

October 11, 2007

Contact:  Kathleen Dezio or Lisa Powers, 202/331-1770  

Lead is found naturally in air, water, and soil.  Consequently, lead may also be found at extremely low levels in the raw ingredients used in formulating cosmetics.  The average amount of lead the average woman would be exposed to when using cosmetics is 1,000 times less than the amount she would get from eating, breathing, and drinking water that meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set daily safe levels for lead exposure for adults, children and pregnant women.  The agency also has set strict limits for lead levels allowed in the colors used in lipsticks, and actually analyzes most of these to ensure they are followed.  The products identified in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) report meet these standards.  In fact, all the products tested in the CSC report meet the California standards for safety established under the Proposition 65 process.

“Despite the negligible levels of lead found in some lipsticks, cosmetic companies are committed to reducing that level even further.  For decades, cosmetic companies have worked to minimize all product contamination, including lead.  They review raw materials to ensure they contain the lowest levels of impurities possible.   Cosmetic companies employ and consult with thousands of expert chemists, toxicologists, and biologists to assess the safety of all ingredients used in cosmetics.”

Based in Washington, D.C., CTFA is the trade association representing the cosmetic, toiletry, and fragrance industry in the United States and globally. Founded in 1894, CTFA has a membership of more than 600 companies including manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers of the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the United States.