The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has orchestrated a well-publicized campaign that most lipstick contains a dangerous amount of lead. I wrote a rather skeptical post about it last year. I am all in favor of making the woefully unregulated American cosmetic industry safer, but I found that tactics used by the campaign too emotive, the claims implausible and uncorroborated by any scientific back up.

California's Attorney General has just dismissed the lead in lipstick scare. His analysis is based on the Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) for lead laid down by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The average lipstick user would have to be exposed to 0.5 micrograms a day. Since, on average, only about 100 milligrams is used per day there is no plausible cause for concern.