Q:

Does lipstick cause lip cancer?

A:

Quick Answer

The butyl benzyl phthalate and lead content of lipsticks does not cause cancer, according to Cancer Council Western Australia. The chemical levels found in lipsticks are not substantial enough to be a cause of detrimental effects on human health.

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Full Answer

Lipstick is a cosmetic product that is used topically, which only allows limited absorption and does not deliver health hazards. The lead levels of lipsticks are within the approved limits set by public health authorities for cosmetic products, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA conducted an initial survey on 20 retailed lipstick brands between October and December 2007. All lipsticks have lead, with an average value of 1.07 parts per million. In 2010, Frontier Global Sciences was commissioned by the FDA to conduct an expanded survey using the same FDA-validated method. The expanded survey tested 400 lipsticks and found that the average lead content was 1.11 parts per million.

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