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Potentially Toxic Metals Present in Lip Cosmetics
Researchers estimate risk based on detected concentrations and estimated daily use

FRIDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Potentially toxic metals are present in cosmetic lip products at levels that could raise health concerns, according to a study published online May 2 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Sa Liu, from the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues analyzed 32 lip products using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Daily oral intakes were determined using previous estimates of lip product usage rates. Based on information used to determine public health goals for exposure, acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) were derived.

The researchers found that most of the tested lip products contained high concentrations of titanium and aluminum. Manganese was detected in all tested products. Three-quarters of the products contained lead (24 products), with an average concentration of 0.36 ppm. One sample had a lead concentration of 1.32 ppm. Based on the estimated average daily rate, estimated intakes were above 20 percent of ADIs for aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. For 10 products, average daily use would result in chromium intake exceeding the estimated ADI for chromium. The percentages of samples with estimated metal intakes exceeding ADIs with high rates of product use (above the 95th percentile) were 3 percent for aluminum, 68 percent for chromium, and 22 percent for manganese. For average and high use, estimated intakes of lead were less than 20 percent of ADIs.

"I believe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should pay attention to this," Liu said in a statement. "Our study was small, using lip products that had been identified by young Asian women in Oakland, Calif. But, the lipsticks and lip glosses in our study are common brands available in stores everywhere. Based upon our findings, a larger, more thorough survey of lip products and cosmetics in general is warranted."

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