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Some of the most popular lipsticks and lip glosses on drugstore shelves include ingredients that aren't so pretty.

A study of 32 different lip products by UC Berkeley researchers found concentrations of heavy metals including lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five others, some at high enough levels to raise health concerns.

Overexposure to these metals over time can lead to health problems such as neurological damage and increased cancer risk.

The researchers polled teenage girls aged 14-19 on lip products they carried and had in their bathrooms at home, and came up with a sample of 32 products purchased at chain drug stores, a major department store and a specialty store.

Previous studies have detected lead and other metals in cosmetics, but this study took a closer look at the exact concentrations of a number of metals, and also estimated how much of them might be ingested by consumers as the product absorbs or is licked off.

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People who apply and reapply their lip color at an average rate may ingest about 24 mg of the product per day, while those who apply more frequently could ingest about 87 mg, researchers wrote.

After metal content was measured, researchers determined an average lipstick user might get 20% or more of their maximum safe daily intake of aluminum, cadmium and manganese just from their lip product.

Average use of some of the products would also expose people to an excessive amount of chromium, a known carcinogen linked to lung cancer and stomach tumors.

Seventy-five percent of the samples contained lead, with nearly half of these at a higher concentration than the Food and Drug Administration's recommended maximum level for lead content in children's candy — troubling in light of the fact that many kids play with their mothers' makeup, study authors wrote.

"Just finding these metals isn't the issue; it's the levels that matter," study author S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences at UC Berkeley, said in a statement. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."

RELATED: 1 IN 38 KIDS HAS LEAD POISONING: CDC

Adults don't necessarily need to toss their lip products based on these findings, but heavy users might want to consider cutting back, Hammond told HealthDay News.

While the specific brands were not named in the study, the results should be considered applicable to all lipsticks, she also said. Lip glosses didn't vary significantly from lipsticks in the amount of metals they contained.

Metal content in cosmetics is not currently regulated by the FDA, but the study authors say their findings, while preliminary, suggest the agency should do so.

"I believe that the FDA should pay attention to this," study author Sa Liu, a UC Berkeley researcher in environmental health sciences, said in a statement.

"Based upon our findings, a larger, more thorough survey of lip products and cosmetics in general is warranted."



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/lipsticks-troubling-levels-toxic-metals-study-article-1.1333111#ixzz2theyqi3Z

 

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