4 Pounds of Poison You Didn’t Know You Were Eating

Metals in Lipstick

Would you eat 4 pounds of poison? Of course you wouldn’t. At least, not on purpose…

Especially since you (hopefully) do your best to avoid environmental toxins. And if you’ve been listening to us, you eat organic foods and filter your water.

We tell you to try to avoid poisons like heavy metals. You know… lead, aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, and titanium.

Yet, they’re hard to avoid. And they show up in very unexpected places…

Three of the biggest offenders? Hexavalent chromium, lead, and cadmium. They’re human carcinogens. Excessive hexavalent chromium – not to be confused with chromium picolinate that helps manage blood sugar – increases the risk of stomach tumors.1 Chronic exposure to cadmium is linked to kidney and bone impairments.2 Adding to the list of potential health risks… exposure to high concentrations of manganese damages the nervous system.3

Your health is seriously at risk when you ingest high levels of these metals. And the FDA knows all about it. But surprise… they have yet to take action to regulate it.

Even though they found lead in 400 brands of this one type of extremely common product during their own analysis…4

Forget about the fridge and possible sources of poison lurking in there. Open your cosmetics bag instead…

Researchers at the University of Berkeley tested various lipsticks – both drugstore and department store brands. They had to be shocked at what they discovered.5 And it didn’t even matter if it was a cheaper or high-end brand.

5 Lead-Free Lipsticks (courtesy of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics) to help keep you and your kisser safe! Don’t forget… kissing your partner means they’re ingesting it too.

  1. Avon Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee
  2. Body Shop Lip Color Garnet
  3. Clinique Long Last Lipstick Merlot
  4. Estee Lauder Maraschino
  5. Revlon Superlustrous Love That Red

The ingredients in your favorite tube of lipstick exceed the accepted daily intake (ADI) of chromium, cadmium, aluminum, and manganese.

Acceptable daily intake (ADI) of poisons? If there is such a thing. And these everyday products even went above that!

Most people ingest an average of 24 mg of lipstick daily. But for women who repeatedly reapply, it could be as much as 87 mg. That can add up to more than four pounds of ingested heavy metals over a lifetime.

“Just finding these metals isn’t the issue; it’s the levels that matter,” said study co-author Katharine Hammond.6

We disagree. Any level of metal and toxins is too much. Researchers detected lead in 75 percent of the products tested.

The FDA does not regulate metals in cosmetics. But they need to start.

“Lipstick, as a product intended for topical use with limited absorption, is ingested only in very small quantities,” the FDA said. “We do not consider the lead levels we found in the lipsticks to be a safety concern.”7

Four pounds is not a “very small quantity.” And even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say lead at any level is unsafe.

“I believe that the FDA should pay attention to this,” said study lead author Sa Liu. “The lipsticks and lip glosses in our study are common brands available in stores everywhere.” Sadly, your lipstick isn’t the only poison hiding in your makeup bag. Heavy metals also lurk in your mascara, foundation, blush, eye shadow, and eyeliner.

This is just another example of how important it is to read labels. And to buy organic. Some brands are even gluten free. Check online for reputable organic lines such as Ecco Bella.

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1 http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/4/533.full
2 http://ehjournal.net/content/12/1/22
3 http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12848244
4 http://shine.yahoo.com/green/heavy-metals-found-many-cosmetics-not-listed-labels-194900866.html
5 http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205518/
6 http://sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130502082249.htm
7 http://cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57377840-10391704/lead-found-in-400-types-of-lipstick-which-has-most/

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Health Topic: General Health | Health Warning


  1. Cilma Lamb says:

    This article was an eye-opener as I have a niece who was recently diagnosed with high levels of lead in her body. The family have been trying to figure out where and how she’s been exposed to it and I think this article will definitely be of help to them.

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