I just discovered a facebook page called “There’s lead in your lipstick”. Maybe I should start one called “There’s even more lead in your drinking water”. Heavy metal poisoning should not be taken lightly, it’s a serious issue, but the lead in lipstick fiasco no longer has any traction. Trace levels of lead are ubiquitous in our environment – in the soil, the plants that grow in it, the water that passes through it. We should be vigilant. But when you realize that you ingest more lead by drinking water every day, than you would if you consumed a whole tube of lipstick with your conflakes, this puts the matter into true perspective.

Why should I worry anyway, I don’t wear lipstick. And, since men have higher lead levels than women (because we shoot each other more often?) the lipstick factor isn’t making a huge difference. Average lead levels in US lipstick: 1 ppm (0.0001%). Found in one Chinese brand (not sold in the US): 3,760 ppm (0.37%). Two other Chinese-made lipsticks had over 2,000 ppm. If you live in China, don’t buy the lipstick. If you live in the US, this is one thing you don’t need to worry about. But if you enjoy worrying, there’s a facebook page called “There’s lead in your lipstick”.

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