Thursday, November 1, 2007

I Am Outraged

At work today, I noticed a small, empty basket sitting next to the display of lip balms we carry.

I asked the health and beauty/supplements/spices buyer why it was sitting out, and she told me that until that day, it was full of Burt's Bees lip tints. She told me that she threw them all away today when she found out that it's been proven that the Merlot shade has lead in it.

Lead. In a product that one applies directly to the lips. And licks off. And wears while eating/drinking/etc. How completely and totally irresponsible and outrageous.

As the Eco Lips website (the products we will now be carrying in replace of Burt's Bees--cheaper and organic!) told me this evening, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics did a study on lead levels in cc brand-name lipsticks. "More than half of the 33 brand-name lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). One-third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the FDA guideline for lead in candy, 0.1 ppm, established to reduce lead exposure among children. Even though lipstick products, like candy, are directly ingested and absorbed into the body, the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick."

I cannot even believe how outraged I am. I learn about new dangerous ingredients and companies every day. I find out this information because I am a privileged middle-class white woman who has the resources to shop/work at an organic food store where this information is accessible. What about everyone else? How do they find out that their lipstick of choice is poisoning them?

Then the health and beauty buyer told me that Burt's Bees was bought out by Clorox, yet another "natural" brand bought by an environmentally hateful and socially irresponsible multi million dollar company. Needless to say, I ceremoniously threw my Burt's Bees lip balm in the trash, right where it belongs.

*visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website for a full list of the lipsticks tested and the amount of lead present in the different products.

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