Lead content found in body paint sold in the USA is sufficient to raise blood lead levels

In March 2017 researchers from the USA published the results of their analysis of the metal content in costume cosmetics (lipstick, body paints, eyeshadow) sold in the USA.  The results showed that antimony was detectable in all samples (range: 0.12-6.3 mg/kg), followed by lead (<0.15-9.3 mg/kg), nickel (<0.20-6.3 mg/kg), cobalt (<0.5-2.0 mg/kg), mercury (<0.00015-0.0020 mg/kg) and arsenic (0.53 mg/kg). Ingestion and dermal exposures were estimated for child- and adult-intermittent and adult-occupational users. The analysis showed that adult-occupational users exceeded the U.S. EPA Reference Dose for antimony. In addition, the maximum allowable dose level for lead was exceeded for all user scenarios. The lead dose from body paint was sufficient to raise blood lead levels in all user scenarios. The researchers recommended that exposure of occupational users of costume cosmetics should be evaluated further to prevent unnecessary metal exposure.

Perez AL et al. Child and adult exposure and health risk evaluation following the use of metal- and metalloid-containing costume cosmetics sold in the United States. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Mar;84:54-63

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