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Study: Cancer-Causing Metals Found In Some Popular Cosmetics

Expert: The Threat May Be Overstated Because Data Doesn't Support The Claims

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Most women may not think much about the ingredients in their favorite cosmetics, but a new study claims that some brands of lipstick may contain cancer-causing chemicals.

Findings by a group of researchers at Berkeley’s School of Public Health showed nine different metals, including lead, in popular brands of lipstick and lip gloss.

Some of the lipsticks tested during the study contained cancer-causing metals like chromium and cadmium. Manganese, which has been linked to toxicity in the nervous system, was found in several samples, and lead was found in 70 percent of lipstick tested, CBS 2′s Vanessa Murdock reported.

The results of the study were cause for concern for some users.

“It’s something you use on your lips every day. Your lips are so close you can ingest it,” East Flatbush resident Sandrine Blake said.

However, experts told CBS 2 that while toxic substances should be removed from these products the danger may not be as great as many people have been led to believe.

“There are no data here to suggest that you have anything to worry about,” explained Dr. Gilbert Ross of the American Council on Science and Health.

Ross added there is one group of people who should stay away from cosmetics.

“Don’t worry about danger in cosmetics, there are none. Don’t let your children eat them though,” he said.

The study found that nearly half of lipsticks sampled contained lead levels higher than those accepted in candy products. The study did not reveal which brands were used during the test.

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