Get the Lead Out: Why is Lead Allowed in Lipstick

Get the Lead Out

The amount  of toxic chemicals in the beauty products women use on a daily basis is staggering. For years now, I have been trying to educate my clients about this. Part of my mission in transforming the beauty industry  is to use the cleanest, least harmful make-up & beauty products available.

Because of what Authentic Beauty stands for, I have been asked to be a part of many awareness events throughout Atlanta. I am proud to say that on March 29, I’ll be on the host committee, along with Beth Bond from Southeast Green, my lovely friend & client, Laura Turner Seydel, State Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, and Green Community Activists Shannon & Derek Jacoby, for Get the Lead Out: Why is Lead Allowed in Lipstick? event. This event will benefit The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The Campaign’s Organizing Director Mia Davis will educate attendees at the event about the toxins found in everyday health and beauty products including makeup, shampoo, soap, skincare, nail polish, and even bubble bath.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics launched in 2004 to protect the health of consumers and workers by securing the corporate, regulatory and legislative reforms necessary to eliminate dangerous chemicals from cosmetics and personal care products. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other chronic health problems. In the past five years, the Campaign has commissioned product tests at independent labs and found popular brands of lipsticks contained lead, leading brands of baby shampoo contained carcinogens (like Formaldehyde!), and most perfumes, fragrances, colognes and body sprays marketed to men and teenagers contained hormone disrupting chemicals. Due to lack of regulation, none of these toxic chemicals were listed on ingredient labels.

Cosmetics are virtually unregulated here in the United States. It is legal for companies to use lead in lipstick, carcinogens in bubble bath, and reproductive toxins in body lotion and fragrances.  It is horrifying to me that we are unaware of the harmful chemicals we are putting in and on our bodies (and on our children).

The good news is that some companies have made an effort to really educate consumers about this phenomenon & change what they put in cosmetics. As a matter of fact, OPI – the largest nail polish manufacturer in the country – has changed their formulations upon pressure from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. However, most department and drugstore mainstream brands have not done so.

Most countries in Europe, as well as Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia have banned or restricted lead and other toxins from use in the cosmetics both manufactured & sold there. Yet when global manufacturers create the same products for the United States market, they have the option to refrain from using lead and other toxic ingredients banned in other markets, but they don’t bother. We need to boycott these companies & call for change! Through Get the Lead Out, we’ll learn more about this problematic system, celebrate the cosmetic companies that have started to make safer, less toxic products, and call attention to companies that refuse to list their ingredients on product packaging. Again we need to boycott these companies & call for change!

Get the Lead Out will take place on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Opera Nightclub, located at 1150 B Crescent Avenue, Atlanta, 30309. Individual tickets cost $50.00 and will include an open bar, light appetizers, an exclusive designer recycled cosmetic bag packed with goodies, and live entertainment from Elisabeth Withers Shug and DJ Mike Zarin. Guests will also screen the short film, “The Story of Cosmetics.” All proceeds will benefit The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit: Get the Lead Out.

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