BACKGROUND: Metal content in lip products has been an issue of concern. OBJECTIVES: We measured lead and eight other metals in a convenience sample of 32 lip products used by young Asian women in Oakland, California, and assessed potential health risks related to estimated intakes of these metals. METHODS: We analyzed lip products by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry and used previous estimates of lip product usage rates to determine daily oral intakes. We derived acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) based on information used to determine public health goals for exposure, and compared ADIs with estimated intakes to assess potential risks. RESULTS: Most of the tested lip products contained high concentrations of titanium and aluminum. All examined products had detectable manganese. Lead was detected in 24 products (75%), with an average concentration of 0.36 +/- 0.39 ppm, including one sample with 1.32 ppm. When used at the estimated average daily rate, estimated intakes were > 20% of ADIs derived for aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese. In addition, average daily use of 10 products tested would result in chromium intake exceeding our estimated ADI for chromium. For high rates of product use (above the 95th percentile), the percentages of samples with estimated metal intakes exceeding ADIs were 3% for aluminum, 68% for chromium, and 22% for manganese. Estimated intakes of lead were < 20% of ADIs for average and high use. CONCLUSIONS: Cosmetics safety should be assessed not only by the presence of hazardous contents, but also by comparing estimated exposures with health-based standards. In addition to lead, metals such as aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese require further investigation.
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