The raging controversy of lead in cosmetics, particularly lipstick, is a two decades old worldwide multi-stakeholders debate among international bodies, government health regulatory agencies, women, health, and environment advocates, scientists and academics, the media, consumers, and cosmetic manufacturers. The internet and the academe provide convenient platforms for these engagements and the protracted discussion over this issue on the cumulative/long-term effects of lead on the health of consumers/users of lipstick and other cosmetic and personal care products.
Researches conducted by consumer, health, women, and environmental groups, independent refereed journal publishing academics, and government agencies and findings published by these entities and selectively popularized by media agencies and bloggers and independent non-professional reviewers have failed, thus far, to resolve the issue. Urban legend spinners have popularized the issue extensively and fueled the raging debate with sensationalized popular versions of the findings of many researches alongside recommendations to use home-grown lead testing methods.
This discussion focuses on the debate over the presence of lead in cosmetics and personal care products, particularly, lipstick. In this context, existing legislations and policy declarations and articulations of international health agencies and government regulatory bodies and their perceived limitations will be examined within their historical contexts. Independent initiatives of other stakeholders will be analyzed given the disparity of views between advocates for the safe use of cosmetics and government agencies. The most recent scientific researches pertinent to the lead in lipstick issue will be discussed as possible bases of the re-thinking of public policy and the adoption of more effective progressive legislation for the protection of consumer health.
- Lead in Lipstick as a Public Issue: An Overview of its Terrain and Contours
- Policy Articulations on Lead in Lipstick Issue
- A Closer View of Lead as a Toxic Substance in Cosmetics and Lipstick in particular
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