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FDA Aims to Limit Lead Levels in Lipstick, Other Cosmetics

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The Food and Drug Administration released draft guidelines Wednesday aimed at regulating lead levels in lipstick and other cosmetic products.

The agency recommended a maximum lead level of 10 parts per million (ppm) in certain cosmetics, including lipstick, lip gloss, eye shadow, blush and body lotion. The guidance does not apply to “topically applied products” that are drugs or hair dyes, the agency said.

“We consider the recommended maximum lead level to be achievable with the use of good manufacturing practices and to be consistent with the 10 ppm maximum lead level for similar products recommended by other countries,” the FDA wrote.

The agency noted that lead can appear as an impurity in cosmetic ingredients due to its “background presence” in the manufacturing environment.

“In our surveys, which do not necessarily reflect the full range of products that are currently on the market, a small number of samples had lead levels that exceed the maximum level we are recommending,” the agency said. “Our goal is to ensure that cosmetic lip products and externally applied cosmetics do not contain lead as an impurity at levels that would pose a health risk.”

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Write to Katie Reilly at Katie.Reilly@time.com