Lead and arsenic aren't listed among the ingredients of lip gloss and eyeliner. However, Environmental Defence, a Canadian environmental group tested dozens of common cosmetics products and found that virtually all of them were contaminated with heavy metals.
Researchers purchased cosmetics in Toronto, and sent them to an accredited laboratory to have them tested for the presence of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, beryllium, selenium, thallium and nickel. The items tested included foundations, concealers, powders, blushes, bronzers, mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, lipsticks and glosses.
According to the Montreal Gazette:
"None of the products tested contained mercury, but lead was detected in 96 percent of the products, arsenic in 20 percent and cadmium in 51 percent. Nickel was found in all the products tested, beryllium in 90 percent, thallium in 61 percent and selenium in 14 percent."
Environmental Defence, Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals in Face Makeup (PDF)
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
If you think your favorite lip gloss or eye shadow is "safe" because it doesn't list lead or arsenic on the ingredients label, think again. A new report revealed that virtually every cosmetic product tested contained a potentially dangerous or proven toxic heavy metal.
Heavy Metals Common in Makeup
In the report "Heavy Metal Hazard: The Health Risks of Hidden Heavy Metals in Face Makeup," Environmental Defence tested 49 different face makeup items, including five foundations, four concealers, four powders, five blushes or bronzers, seven mascaras, two eye liners, 14 eye shadows, and eight lipsticks or glosses. Their testing revealed serious heavy metal contamination in virtually all of the products:
96 percent contained lead 90 percent contained beryllium
61 percent contained thallium 51 percent contained cadmium
20 percent contained arsenic
Further, each product contained an average of two of the four metals of highest concern (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury), which are designated as toxic in Canada because of proven health concerns. Most of the products also contained an average of four of the eight metals tested (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, beryllium, thallium, selenium).