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Beauty Pays a PriceThursday, May 24, 2012 By Julia Kang
With the manufacturing companies in the “hot seat,” beauty may see a revolution in its products. From experimenting with it as a little girl and getting a manicure every other week as an adult, there are numerous people in all age groups who are exposed to nail polish. Though nail polish manufacturers have ensured that there are no harsh chemicals, such as toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, state investigators have found that 10 to 12 in 25 polishes included these toxins in their formula. These toxins have been found to cause cancer. Such is the case with another beauty essential for women all across the nation: lipstick. The FDA tested 400 lipsticks, claiming to be lead-free; however, both drugstore and high-end products have been found to have amounts of lead in them. Furthermore, with the women who do use lip products, such as lipstick, consumption of the product is inevitable as women consume over 6 pounds of lipstick throughout their lifetime. “ It changes my perspective of beauty and beauty regulations negatively since I don’t think beauty products should have any sort of cancerous toxins since women from all over the world use them, ” junior Jaime Kim said. According to the report, the unlabeled products were: Sation 99 Basecoat, Sation 53 red-pink nail color, Dare to Wear nail lacquer, Chelsea 650 Baby’s Breath Nail Lacquer, New York Summer Nail Color, Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer, Sunshine nail lacquer, Cacie Light Free Gel Basecoat, Cacie Sun Protection Topcoat, Golden Girl Topcoat, Nail Art Top-N-Seal and High Gloss Topcoat. These products are often found in nail salons across the nation, which poses the problem of these salons to be shut down and the unemployed workers. “ That's pretty scary. It makes me wonder what's actually safe to buy. You don't really think buying beauty products could cause such damage like that,” sophomore Jamie Fairbanks said. Also, the products with the highest degree of lead in lipsticks are extremely easily accessible. The worst cases were Maybelline’s Color Sensation in Pink Petal, which had 7.19 parts per million of lead, and L’Oreal Colour Riche in Volcanic, which had 7 parts per million. Several other brands, including Cover Girl and Nars had products hovering in the 4 to 5 parts-per-million range. (The average lead concentration found across the 400 lipsticks was 1.11 parts per million.) “It’s not really shocking if you consider many other products that have harmful chemicals in them, but it’s still going to make me hesitate before I buy any cosmetic products,” senior Nicole Seo said. The beauty industry may see a dramatic shift in the coming years due to these findings, which will probably lead to the discontinuation of these products and a reformulation of ones that follow new beauty guidelines.