Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dying to look good?

One of my favorite recurring student presentation topics is the health effects of beauty products, whether they be cosmetics, hair care products, nail care products, or whatever.  One year, a high school teacher brought in easily twenty samples of shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and cosmetics of all kinds as visual aids for a presentation titled "Are you dying to look good?"  I've had other presentations on the topic, but that's that one I remember most vividly.  As you can see, I found where she likely got the title, the book Dying to Look Good, the cover of which I used to illustrate this entry.

The next time a student picks that topic, I have a reference for her.

University of California, Berkeley, via MedicalXpress: Troubling levels of toxic metals found in lipstick
May 2, 2013
A new analysis of the contents of lipstick and lip gloss may cause you to pause before puckering. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health tested 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores. They detected lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals, some of which were found at levels that could raise potential health concerns. Their findings will be published online Thursday, May 2, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Prior studies also have found metals in cosmetics, but the UC Berkeley researchers estimated risk by analyzing the concentration of the metals detected and consumers' potential daily intake of the metals, and then comparing this intake with existing health guidelines. "Just finding these metals isn't the issue; it's the levels that matter," said study principal investigator S. Katharine Hammond, professor of environmental health sciences. "Some of the toxic metals are occurring at levels that could possibly have an effect in the long term."
So, are you dying to look good?

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