EWG: FDA Should Raise Bar On Lead In Cosmetics; Innovation Will Follow
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
The NGO – and Gwyneth Paltrow – are rallying consumer support for a stronger FDA position on contaminant lead in cosmetics. The group is confident that innovation enabling lead-free lipsticks and other color cosmetics would follow an outright regulatory ban, but that optimism may not accord with reality.
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FDA’s final rule is specific to lead acetate’s use in hair-coloring products, but the agency’s recognition of current consensus – “that there is no safe exposure level for lead” – could spook the wider cosmetics industry, particularly given that some of the same NGO petitioners that drove the rulemaking are clamoring for an all-out ban on trace lead in lipsticks and externally applied cosmetics.
FDA’s draft guidance setting a 10ppm limit on trace lead in cosmetic products is not protective enough, according to stakeholders, including Beautycounter, which bills itself as “a company devoted to progress.” Commenter recommendations range from lowering the ceiling to banning lead-contaminated products outright.
The Environmental Working Group is not letting up in its push for FDA to recognize that no amount of lead in cosmetics is safe for consumers. However, a less tolerant regulatory stance on trace lead levels could be a de facto ban on whole categories of products, as By Valenti Organics discovered in its elusive search for “lead-free” pigments.