MANILA, Philippines—The Food and Drug Administration warned the public on Saturday about 13 lipsticks which may contain high levels of lead and other heavy metals.
In an advisory, the FDA warned the public that the 13 “unnotified” lipstick products from China or imitations of the original products were being sold by sidewalk and ambulant vendors or some stores in the country.
It also asked the Bureau of Customs to prevent the release of these foreign products in local markets.
“The public is warned against buying lipsticks that are not notified with the FDA. These products may contain high levels of heavy metals, especially lead,” the FDA said.
“All consumers are advised to buy only FDA-notified cosmetic products in the market,” it added.
The 13 questionable lipstick products include Baolishi No. 8, Baolishi No. 20 (green), Baolishi No. 20 (yellow), Baolishi No. 25, Baolishi No. 37, Miss Beauty No. 6, Miss Beauty Vitamin C No. 11, Shijing No. 39, Ling Mei No. 12, Heng Fang No. 8, Popa Italy 3 in 1, L’Oreal No. 209, and Luoys Paris No. 05
“Heavy metals are inherently present in pigments (colorants) and in some raw materials that are used in producing lipsticks. This is due to natural contamination from the environment, which (is) unavoidable,” the FDA said.
“Thus, the FDA enforces strict compliance to the requirements of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for cosmetic products to ensure that possible contaminants are within the allowable limits set by the FDA,” it added.
The FDA said studies had shown that manufacturers that strictly follow cGMP in producing lipsticks have lead and other heavy metals “way below the maximum allowable or acceptable limit.”
“Lead is a proven toxicant that accumulates in the body through constant exposure and absorption over a prolonged period. Health problems through chronic ingestion of high levels of lead in lipsticks may manifest as neurologic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and renal problems,” the agency said.
It said lead toxicant in adults had been linked with high blood pressure, joint pain, poor memory, and concentration problems.
“The children are particularly at risk from neurotoxic effects of lead, which affect their brain development and cognition, like test scores, memory and learning, and fine motor skills and behavior,” the FDA said.
“Lead easily crosses the placenta, and pregnant women should pay particular attention to the different sources of lead exposure,” it added.
It said consumers could check if a cosmetic product is registered through the FDA website (www.fda.gov.ph).
The FDA added that those who want to report unnotified cosmetic products in the market can e-mail the agency via [email protected]