HC Deb 14 July 1960 vol 626 c1585
22. Mrs. Butler

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ask the Poisons Board to examine the seventeen lipstick colours which the United States of America proposed to remove from the "harmless" list in April, 1959, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Butler) with a view to giving guidance to the cosmetic industry in this country.

Mr. Vosper

My right hon. Friend will ask the Board whether it wishes to make recommendations to him on this subject.

Mrs. Butler

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, which will go some way to meet the public concern on this matter which has arisen from the fact that the colours suspended in the United States were found, when they were given in large quantities to rats, to have some carcinogenic effect. When he refers to the Poisons Board, will he ask the Board to consider examining what quantities, if any, of these colours can be absorbed safely into the digestive systems of women using lipstick?

Mr. Vosper

I understand that the view that these dyes have a carcinogenic effect is not accepted, and my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health dealt with the matter on 9th May. I am sure that the hon. Lady's supplementary question will come to the attention of the Board.