Back in February, the Environmental Working Group wrote about lead showing up in popular lipstick brands. The article ‘The Kiss Of Lead’ stated that 61% of the lipsticks tested, contained lead. And don’t try looking on the lipstick packaging for lead listed as an ingredient because it wasn’t there. To put the amount of lead found in perspective, the FDA allows 0.1 ppm (parts per million) limit for lead in candy. The lipstick with the highest level of lead “L’Oreal Colour Riche – True Red” tested 0.65 ppm of lead.
Then Canada helped put another toxic spin on lipstick last month by banning 2 chemicals used in lipstick and other personal care products: D4 and D5 siloxanes. They are found in household items such as lotions, hair care, soaps, baby bottle nipples, cookware and cleaning products. Their effects on animals include the usual damage to the female reproduction system and uterine tumors. Solution for lipstick lovers? Checking the Skin Deep database on the EWG site to research earth-friendly, non-toxic lipstick alternatives. I did note with interest that many of the MAC products rated 3 for hazard score – that’s not a bad score considering I wouldn’t know where to find most of the products rating a 0 or 1.
Canada’s actions with this current ban of D4 & D5 and taking a stand on banning BPA in baby products last year, shows the Government has real concerns about chemicals and where they are being used. As quoted by the EWG “This action paves the way for possible mandates requiring that companies phase these chemicals out of use, is the first environmental or health-based determination concerning the chemicals issued by any nation”. I feel reassured by Canada emerging as one of the world’s leaders for protecting it’s consumers from synthetic chemicals. One of the most chilling messages that has stuck in my head after watching the documentary The Disappearing Male is that we’ve spent the last 100 years creating man-made (untested for effects on human health) synthetic chemicals and we’ll spend the next 100 years finding ways to combat the damage they’ve done to human health and the environment. We have built our material world using synthetic chemicals with 80,000 of them in use. 85% of these chemicals have not been tested for their effect on human beings ~ very scary statistic. We need to continue to encourage our governments to lobby for change with targeting and testing synthetic chemicals and their side-effects with human health.
For my many US readers, I understand you’re not able to view the Disappearing Male documentary (restrictions from the Canadian site). But, here is another eye-opeing video from the EWG site called Kid-Safe Chemicals Act: 10 Americans Video. The speaker in the video is Ken Cook (co-founder and president of EWG) in July 2008 speaking about a research project the Environmental Working Group funded that involved checking the blood of 10 random Americans. They checked each blood sample for 413 toxic chemicals. Each subject tested positive for an average of 200 chemicals and some pesticides found in their blood were banned more than 30+ years ago. It is fascinating when Ken reveals who the 10 Americans actually are and how they were selected. This video is very entertaining and packed with awesome information!