In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested some 33 lipsticks for lead. The results were that 20 of the lipsticks contained levels of lead higher than the maximum amount allowed in candy bars. Later, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested the same 20 red shades of lipstick and found that 19 shades had higher lead content than what is allowed in candy bars (a maximum of 0.1 ppm) , and that the lipsticks averaged levels of 1.07 ppm.
The FDA did a follow up on its initial test, using 400 lipsticks that were available on the U.S. market, and of a wide variety of prices, shades, and manufacturers. Seattle, WA, private laboratory Frontier Global Sciences, Inc., conducted the analysis. The expanded test revealed that all 400 lipsticks contained lead, and 380 of the lipsticks contained lead amounts higher than 0.1 ppm. In fact, the average level of lead in the sample was 1.11, with the lowest concentration being .026 ppm, and the highest being Maybelline's Color Sensational 125 Petal Pink at 7.19 ppm.
The FDA has yet to define lead limits in lipsticks, saying, "we are evaluating whether there may be a need to recommend an upper limit for lead in lipstick in order to further protect the health and welfare of consumers."