Lead Levels In Cosmetics Should Be Reduced?

cosmetics lead levels

The FDA is seeking to reduce the lead levels in cosmetics as the administration released a guidance.

The FDA is seeking to reduce the lead levels in cosmetics as the administration released a comments-only guidance that advises an even lower level.

Lead is a common element in the environment. It can be quite easily extracted. Although it was once more commonly used, it has started being phased out.

In the late nineteenth century, it was established as being poisonous when in high quantities. Most commonly, it is used in building constructions, weights, bullets, or lead-acid batteries. It is also used as a radiation shield.

However, one of its most commonly met uses is in cosmetics. As such, the FDA has once again turned it eye towards such lead levels.

FDA or the Food and Drug Administration has recently released a new guidance. This seeks to reduce the lead levels of cosmetics. The administration has good reasons for looking into the matter.

Lead is a neurotoxin. Inhaled or ingested, it can be poisonous to humans or mammals. High quantities of lead can accumulate in bones and soft tissues. This may potentially lead to nervous system damage. In their part, this might lead to blood or brain disorders.

Most cosmetics have stopped containing lead. Those that have, register such reduced lead levels that they are insignificant.

As such, the FDA considers that such levels should be easily maintained. The Administration nonetheless released their gentle guidance. This was published earlier this week, on December 21.

The FDA released the advice after carrying out some tests. These targeted 685 products. 99 percent amongst them were at or even below the presently recommended lead levels.

FDA researchers started regularly testing cosmetics back in 2007. At the time, the agency found lead in a lipstick that they had tested. As such, they initiated the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Since then, the administration has been posting yearly survey results. These target both lipsticks and other externally applied products.

Through these tests, the FDA has also determined the lead levels limits. Most products registered a 1 part per million (ppm) average.

This average led them to the following conclusion. FDA scientists consider that cosmetics manufacturers could limit the product lead content.

An even lower value could be reached through various elements. These include good manufacturing practices and a careful ingredient selection.

Through these techniques, they could come to achieve 10 ppm product lead levels.

FDA’s survey also determined the potential customer lead ingestion risks. Lipstick levels were compared to eye shadow or other similar products ratios.

However, the agency determined that there are no added health risks. More exactly, cosmetics within the recommended lead levels don not pose a health risk.

The FDA is also not advising, as it finds no reason, that customers change their products according to lead levels.

This newly released guidance is not enforceable. Still, it encourages manufacturers to try and continue reducing lead levels. Good manufacturing and ingredients could account for the lower lead levels.

As such, a maximum 10 ppm ratio could come to be reached, when feasible. However, the FDA did release a warning.

It stated that the agency will be taking action against the manufacturers that do not respect the maximum levels. If their products contain potentially harmful lead levels, measures will be taken.

FDA reports show that most United States cosmetics already have 10 ppm or lower lead levels. However, there still are a few that sport a somewhat higher value.

The current guidance will be distributed for comments only. It will have a 30-days long such period. After that, it will most probably take effect.

Image Source: Pixabay

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