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Are the lead levels in your cosmetics safe?

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If you wear make up, the one thing you may not want to leave the house without is your lipstick.

Levels of one particular ingredient in the cosmetic that gives your lips color may also be too high to be considered safe.

The FDA issued a draft guidance on Wednesday, Dec. 22nd to the cosmetic industry in an effort to limit consumers' exposure to lead in lipstick and other make up.

As we know from the recent episode in Flint, Michigan, this whole exposure to lead is significant and a real problem to children and those with developing brains, so babies in uteri, pregnant mothers, and nursing mothers. We want to try and keep people safe and minimize their exposure to toxic chemicals.

Dr. Lisa Merritt, M.D., of the Multicultural Health Institute said the FDA's draft guidance to the cosmetic industry in an effort to better determine lead levels in cosmetics and particularly lipstick is a good move.

Dr. Merritt said, "lipstick is a little different from other make up, because you put it on your skin, and it sits there and absorbs somewhat, but if you put something on your mouth then that means when you eat, when you talk, when you lick your lips to moisten them, you are going to ingest, take in some of the chemicals that give it it's beautiful vibrant color."

The FDA has concluded that a recommended maximum level of 10-Parts Per Million (PPM) for lead as an impurity in cosmetic lip products and externally applied cosmetics would not pose a health risk.

Dr. Merritt suggested looking for organic products that fully disclose ingredients. "Everyone should read, the same way you want to be conscious about what you are putting in your body, you should be conscious about what you are putting on your body, and particularly anything near your mouth."

Because lead is naturally occurring in nature, it doesn't have to be disclosed.

Regulations and standards on organic products are stringent allowing them to make claims their non-organic counterparts can't back up.

The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) data base, Skin Deep, shows all cosmetics that allow themselves to be tested and under scrutiny and rates their hazard level.