Can Your Lipstick Give You Heart Problems? as Shocking New Research Reveals Chemicals in Make-Up Linked to Allergies, Arthritis and Even Low Fertility

Daily Mail (London), August 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

Can Your Lipstick Give You Heart Problems? as Shocking New Research Reveals Chemicals in Make-Up Linked to Allergies, Arthritis and Even Low Fertility


Byline: by John Naish

MANY women feel naked in public without a slash of scarlet on their lips, but could your lipstick harbour a dangerous secret?

Worrying new research reveals your long-lasting bright lippy could contain a host of chemicals that may seriously harm your health.

Concerns are growing about links to muscle problems, hormone disruption and poisoning by heavy metals, as well as raised risks of allergies and even a form of arthritis.

Among the substances sparking alarm are chemicals such as parabens, methacrylate, lead and cadmium.

The latest to hit the headlines is a substance called triclosan, which is used as a preservative in popular lipsticks. Research out last week r k linked triclosan to muscle and heart problems. The chemical has also sparked fears that it causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics and turn into superbugs.

The cosmetics industry has dismissed these concerns out of hand. But one giant skin-product manufacturer has now broken ranks.

Johnson & Johnson, the producer of Listerine mouthwash and Neutrogena soap, has pledged to remove triclosan -- along with a host of other worrying chemicals -- from all of its skincare products. The latest research on triclosan suggests that it may hinder the process by which muscles -- including the heart -- receive signals from the brain.

Molecular bioscientist Professor Isaac Pessah found a 'dramatic' 25 per cent reduction in heart function within 20 minutes of laboratory mice being exposed to triclosan. He warned that there is 'strong evidence' that it could affect human health.

His study also found that triclosan can seriously reduce muscle power.

Previous studies have found that triclosan may have links to thyroid and fertility problems.

It may increase women's levels of male hormones -- androgens -- causing symptoms such as acne, weight gain, excessive hair growth, menstrual dysfunction and infertility. The chemical is under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency over fears that it damages people's health. The European Commission says it is legal for humans, but its use remains 'under evaluation'.

The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) in Britain has dismissed the latest research as irrelevant because it only involved tests on mice rather than humans.

The association adds that the amounts of triclosan used in the experiments exceeded the maximum permitted levels in cosmetics.

It adds: 'There are many false allegations levelled against cosmetics manufacturers, accusing them of selling unsafe products and using harmful ingredients. These allegations are just that, false.' However, mounting concerns over the effects of such 'safety-approved' chemicals last week moved the skincare giant Johnson & Johnson to announce that it will go far beyond the current requirements of European and American regulators.

It has pledged to remove a host of potentially harmful chemicals from its products, including triclosan and parabens -- a type of preservative commonly found in lipstick.

THERE are concerns that parabens may act like the female hormone oestrogen and interfere with women's menstrual cycles. Research by Dr Philippa Darbre, an oncologist at the University of Reading in England, has even linked parabens to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Investigators have also found other worrying chemicals in some lipsticks. A report in the Journal of Hazardous Materials in mid-2010, for example, examined the ingredients of a broad range of lipsticks, and discovered that they often contain significant amounts of heavy metals -- namely cadmium and chromium.

These are linked to problems such as dermatitis -- skin inflammation -- and possible kidney damage in the long term. 'Their extraction from the human body takes over 40 years,' the study warned.

Similar studies have found lipsticks containing methacrylate, a form of adhesive, which can irritate the skin. …

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