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Group warns against lipsticks with heavy metals.

An environmental group warned against lipstick products that may contain health-damaging chemical ingredients such as lead, arsenic and mercury.

According to EcoWaste Coalition, it screened 70 lipsticks costing P7 to P80 each that were purchased last Feb. 7 from 13 discount shops in Divisoria and Quiapo in Manila, and in Baclaran in ParaAaAaAeA~aque a Pasay.

The products were screened for toxic chemicals using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence device using the following allowable limits under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive as reference: 1 part per million (ppm) for mercury, 5 ppm for arsenic and 20 ppm for lead.

It said 27 or 39 percent of the 70 lipstick samples were found to contain detectable levels of one or more heavy metals above the ASEAN limits.

For lead, top 10 samples that contained the chemical beyond the allowed limit were Baolishi #20 (green case) with 18,500 ppm, Baolishi #20 (golden case) 15,600 ppm, Baolishi #20 (yellow case) 14,000 ppm, Baolishi #20 (red case) 3,337 ppm, Baolishi #20 (yellow case) 3,258 ppm, Monaliza #20 (pink case) 2,796 ppm, Monaliza #20 (golden case) 2,613 ppm, Monaliza #20 (with cartoon case) 2,142 ppm, Kiss Beauty #7 383 ppm, Kiss Beauty #8 208 ppm and Miss Beauty #7 with 72 ppm.

Lead, the group said, could build up in the body over time.

Mercury was found the highest in Popa #12 with 90 ppm, Kaixi Beauty #60 with 85 ppm and Chanleevi #04 with 88 ppm.

EcoWaste said pregnant women are very much at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, which a mother can pass to the developing fetus. Mercury is known to concentrate in the fetal brain, disrupting the brain development and causing lifelong health problems.

High levels of arsenic were detected in Baolishi #20 (green case) with 497 ppm, Baolishi #20 (golden case) 450 ppm and Baolishi #20 (yellow case) with 421 ppm.

Exposure to arsenic over a long period can result to chronic arsenic poisoning and associated health problems such as skin lesions, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, EcoWaste warned.

EcoWaste said checks at the website of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that none of tainted samples are listed in the agency's list of notified cosmetics.

"Arsenic, lead and mercury in lipstick may be absorbed or ingested when you lick or wet your lips, drink and eat while wearing a tainted lipstick, or when you kiss or lock lips with someone wearing one," said Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

She added, "Hazardous chemicals in lipstick and other cosmetics take their toll on the environment, too, as these are washed down the drain and into the water system."


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Title Annotation:Breaking News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Feb 11, 2014
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