Duke explains new FDA guidelines on lead in cosmetics

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The FDA has come out with new draft guidelines about how much lead should be in cosmetics.

According to Duke dermatologist and professor Dr. Jennifer Powers, lead can be poisonous to anyone depending on the concentration and may be specifically harmful to the development of children.

The FDA released new draft guidelines in late December recommending there be fewer than 10 parts per million in cosmetic products - the same amount that's acceptable in food.

"One of the main concerns with products that contain even a small amount of lead is the incidental or accidental ingestion of the product," Powers said.

She said it's difficult to know exactly how much toxicity can be absorbed through skin on most of the face and arms, but skin inside of the lips or near the eyes is a different story. She said those areas are more likely to be absorbent.

Though Powers said she takes comfort in knowing most of the cosmetics tested by the FDA are within their new guidelines, she still some advice on keeping you and your family safe.

"One, is the cosmetic that you're using on that higher end of the spectrum? Look it up," she said. "Do you have small children in the house who could be affected by a cosmetic that's lying around? Don't let your kids play with things that they might be ingesting on a regular basis.

"And lastly, if you are an adult who does bite your lip, or apply cosmetics in other ways that are non-traditional, you might want to think twice about how this could affect your health," she added.

Check the amounts of lead in your lipstick here

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