Kiss of Death

WSVN — A warning tonight that involves young girls already experimenting with their mom's makeup. Could that pretty pout be the kiss of death?. 7's Lynn Martinez has the story.

It's a rite of passage for little girls. Trying out makeup for the first time.

Some parents even post videos of their toddlers applying makeup.

What starts as a fun childhood game, leads to a daily ritual by the time she is a teenager. But a South Florida doctor is issuing a warning to parents about one product in that makeup bag.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas: "It's a serious public health problem."

Mount Sinai's Chief of Cardiology Dr. Gervasio Lamas says ingredients found in many lipsticks are linked to heart disease.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas: "The lead, which is in tiny, tiny, tiny amounts in your lipstick, goes into the blood, you absorb it through the mouth."

He says in adults, high levels of lead can lead to serious heart problems.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas: "The problems with lead can be hypertension, it can be coronary disease, heart attacks and it can be early death."

Another dangerous ingredient in some lipsticks is cadmium, which Dr. Lamas says can affect the vascular system and damage major organs.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas: "Cadmium hides in the kidneys, the liver, lungs and other organs and it hides there for close to 30 years."

Dr. Lamas says by the time he sees someone in their 50's or 60's with heart problems, the damage is already done.

So if a girl starts regularly using lipstick at the age of 15, by the time she is 45, she could have a large buildup of heavy metals in her body.

Natalia Gustafson: "I was very shocked."

Natalia Gustafson is a mom who experimented with lipstick when she was little.

Natalia Gustafson: "I do love lipstick."

She came across Dr. Lamas' speech on-line one day and after hearing the warnings, she ran right for her makeup drawer.

Natalia Gustafson: "I grabbed them all and threw them away."

So far government regulators have failed to set limits for heavy metals in lipsticks, so Dr. Lamas is hoping by speaking out he can reach younger consumers before the damage is done.

Dr. Gervasio Lamas: "When we can identify the source of these toxic metals, we should do the very best that we can to avoid them."

Meanwhile, everyone should follow Natalia's lead and start reading that tiny print and finding out what is in your favorite brand.

Natalia Gustafson: "I think that your health is one of the biggest concerns that we all should have."

Because in the end, she doesn't want to see any woman suffer the kiss of death over a beauty product.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.safecosmetics.org/