Lead in Your Lipstick

  • Author: Nancy McGuire
  • Published: 01 June 2016
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Environmental Science & Technology/ACS Publications
  • Associated Societies: American Chemical Society (ACS), USA
thumbnail image: Lead in Your Lipstick

By some estimates, a woman may ingest about 1.8 kg of lipstick over the course of a lifetime, along with the lead-based coloring agents these products contain. To see how much this adds up to, Hong-Bo Li, Lena Q. Ma, Nanjing University, China, and colleagues measured lead quantities and bioavailabilities in 75 lipsticks and 18 lip glosses, as well as the concentrations of six other metals (Co, Cd, As, Ni, Cr, Zn).

Lead concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 10,185 mg/kg and averaged 497 mg/kg. These values were significantly higher than those for any of the other metals. Orange and pink shades contained more lead (presumably as PbCrO4) than brown, red, or purple ones. More expensive products contained less lead, and European and American products contained less lead than Iranian and Saudi products, which in some cases contained several grams of lead per kg product.

The team estimated a daily lead intake between 0.04 and 1.5 μg/kg body weight from lipstick or lip gloss when bioavailability was taken into account. For some products, lip product users with a particularly high rate of ingestion (highest 5 %) could take up amounts of 5.31 μg lead/kg body weight daily, which exceeds the provisional tolerable daily intake level of 3.5 μg/kg body weight.

The researchers suggest that lead speciation studies should be performed to assess the effects of various lead compounds on bioavailability, especially for five of the tested products that had unusually large bioavailability results. They also recommend similar studies on chromium concentrations and bioavailability.


Article Views: 2274

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

Bookmark and Share

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more


ChemistryViews.org on Facebook

ChemistryViews.org on Twitter ChemistryViews.org on YouTube ChemistryViews.org on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

A product of ChemPubSoc Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)and Wiley-VCH