Debunking email hoaxes and exposing Internet scams since 2003!

Hoax-Slayer Logo Hoax-Slayer Logo

DividerDivider
Home    About    New Articles    RSS Feed    Subscriptions    Contact
DividerDivider
Bookmark and Share












Lead in Lipstick Alert - Cancer Causing Lipstick Hoax

Outline
Email claims that certain brands of lipstick contain dangerous amounts of lead and can cause cancer. The message includes a list of lipstick brands and instructions for testing lipsticks for lead content.



Brief Analysis
Although a 2007 study indicated that some lipsticks do contain small amounts of lead, this message is nevertheless highly misleading and inaccurate and it should not be forwarded to others in its current form (Please read the Detailed Analysis below for more information).

Examples

men:
Do not forget to pass this message to their wives, girlfriends, friends or colleagues.
Women: Lip Care for using!

Dr. Elizabeth Ayoub, biomolecular and medical is issued an alert for lipsticks containing lead, which is a carcinogen.
Recently the brand 'Red Earth' decreased prices of R $ 67.00 to R $ 9.90!
Why? Because it contained lead.
The brands that contain lead are:
MARY KAY
CLINIQUE
ESTÉE LAUDER
SHISEIDO
RED EARTH (Lip Gloss)
CHANEL (Lip Conditioner)
MARK AMERICA
MOTIVES
LIPSTICK
A V O N
The higher the lead content, the greater the risk of causing cancer. After doing a test on lipsticks, lip was observed in the highest level of lead AVON. Care for those lipsticks which are supposed to have greater fixation. If your lipstick is fixed but is due to high levels of lead.
Take this test:
1. Put some lipstick on your hand;
2. With a gold ring on this lipstick pass it;
3. If the lipstick color changes to black, then you know that contains lead.




Lipstick Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!

If there is a female you care anything about, share this with her. I did!!!!!

I am also sharing this with the males on my email list, because they need to tell the females THEY care about as well!

Recently a brand called "Red Earth" decreased their prices from $67 to $9.90. It contained lead. Lead is a chemical which causes cancer.

The Brands which contain lead are:
1.. CHRISTIAN DIOR
2. LANCOME
3. CLINIQUE
4. Y.S.L
5. ESTEE LAUDER
6. SHISEIDO
7. RED EARTH (Lip Gloss)
8. CHANEL (Lip Conditioner)
9. MARKET AMERICA-MOTNES LIPSTICK.

The higher the lead content, the greater the chance of causing cancer.

After doing a test on lipsticks, it was found that the Y.S.L. lipstick contained the most amount of lead.

Watch out for those lipsticks which are supposed to stay longer. If your lipstick stays longer, it is because of the higher content of lead.

Here is the test you can do yourself:

1. Put some lipstick on your hand.
2. Use a Gold ring to scratch on the lipstick.
3. If the lipstick color changes to black then you know the lipstick contains lead.

Please send this information to all your girlfriends, wives and female family members. This information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Dioxin Carcinogens causes cancer, especially breast cancer.




Detailed Analysis
This message warns that certain prominent brands of lipstick contain dangerous amounts of lead and can cause cancer in those who use them. Although a 2007 study by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that some lipsticks do have higher than expected levels of lead, this message is in no way related to that study and contains highly misleading and inaccurate information.

Health authorities worldwide have long known the dangers associated with lead exposure. Most have strict guidelines that regulate the level of lead in consumer products, including cosmetics. Regulatory and industry bodies such as the FDA in the US, the CTPA in the UK, the European Commission and similar institutions in other nations control the substances that can be added to cosmetic products.

©iStockphoto.com/Ivan Mateev

Lead Lipstick
One popular version of the message claims that the information originated from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. However, this claim is untrue. There was no mention of such a warning published on the Walter Reed Army Medical Center website (now part of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). Furthermore, this apparent endorsement and the mention of Dioxin Carcinogens also appear in another email hoax that warns of links between plastic use and cancer. Apparently, the Walter Reed reference was copied verbatim from one hoax email and tacked on to the other in a fruitless attempt to add a measure of credibility.

A later version, which circulates via Facebook and other social media sites, claims to be an alert issued by a biomolecular and medical expert by the name of Dr. Elizabeth Ayoub. However, it is unclear if Dr. Ayoub is even a real person. Moreover, given that the new "alert" is virtually identical in wording to the original message, and is as equally factually flawed, it seems highly doubtful that it was issued by any genuine doctor.

Another aspect of the email also casts doubt on the authenticity of its claims. While long-term lead exposure may possibly have links to cancer, it is much more likely to be indicated in other serious health issues such as stroke, kidney disease and brain damage. Even short-term exposure can have adverse health effects, including impact on blood cell chemistry and developmental issues in children. In spite of this, the "warning" focuses purely on a potential cancer link and ignores other equally serious - and considerably more likely - lead related health issues. It is doubtful that a genuine, medically endorsed warning message would mention only one of the health risks inherent in lead exposure.

The "test" outlined in the message is also highly misleading. According to information available from New Zealand's COSMETIC TOILETRY & FRAGRANCES ASSOCIATION, the "reactions described in the email occur when the test is done with any metal and just using plain wax which is a core component of most lipsticks." My own random testing revealed that dark streaks appear to be left in a variety of substances by a variety of metals, even copper on plain old candle wax. Thus an apparently "positive" result for this test does not effectively indicate the presence of lead. Reliably detecting the presence of lead in a substance generally requires scientific testing or at least the use of specialized lead testing kits. This supposed "test" seems to be a corrupted version of the ancient touchstone method of testing the purity of gold by examining the streak left when gold was scraped against a dark stone. Clearly, instructions for conducting this fake test were only included in the email to trick recipients into believing its claims.

Thus the information in this email is highly misleading and inaccurate and it should not be forwarded to others in its current form.

That said, a 2007 study by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics indicated that some lipsticks do contain small amounts of lead. Although the results of this study are certainly cause for concern, they in no way vindicate the misinformation contained in this email forward. Stacy Malkan, a co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is genuinely concerned about the findings of the study. However, an article on the issue notes:

Malkan said that lead in lipstick is a valid concern, borne out by the campaign's tests. But she dismissed the cancer scare and a suggestion that consumers can test for lead by scratching lipstick with a gold ring.

And even The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics does not claim that the lead in lipstick is likely to cause cancer.

Moreover, information about lead in lipstick published on the FDA website notes:

FDA has recently received a number of inquiries from consumers concerned about the amount of lead present in lipstick. FDA's studies have found no lead levels that would pose safety concerns when lipstick is used as intended.

FDA scientists developed an analytical method, published in 2009, for measuring the amount of lead in lipstick. Our initial findings, as well as our expanded findings posted in December 2011, confirm that the amount of lead found in lipstick is very low and does not pose safety concerns.

In fact, lead is a common element in our environment and we are likely to be exposed to it every day from a variety of sources. The potential danger is that the tiny amounts of lead contained in some lipsticks could accumulate along with other lead sources and eventually cause health issues.

References:
NEW PRODUCT TESTS FIND LEAD IN LIPSTICK
FDA
The CTPA :The Cosmetic Toiletry Perfumery Association :Cosmetic legislation
European Commission
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Plastics Cancer Link Email - Freezing Plastic Bottles - Plastics In the Microwave or Car
American Cancer Society - Lead
Lead and Cosmetics
Lead tests raise red flag for lipsticks
Lipstick and Lead: Questions and Answers

Last updated: January 18, 2013
First published: January 7, 2006

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen