Groups want lead out of lipstick

Feb. 9, 2009 at 7:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- More than a year after a U.S. coalition reported some brands of lipstick contain lead, there has been no government action, members of the group said Monday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to release the results of its own testing for lead in lipstick, despite pressure from senators and repeated calls from health groups, officials of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported.

"The typical turnaround time in a laboratory for lead tests is 10 days. There's no reason for Food and Drug Administration to sit on its lead-in-lipstick research for over a year," Stacy Malkan of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups, said in a statement.

"FDA appears to still be operating under Bush-era tactics of secrecy and delay. It's time for new leadership and new direction at FDA, so the agency can do what Americans expect it do to: ensure the safety of cosmetic products."

In October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reported that 61 percent of lipsticks it tested contained lead.

"The scientific data is conclusive: Lead in any amount is a health concern," Malkan said. "Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can cause learning and behavioral problems, and pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable."

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