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To the Editor.—
A letter to The Journal (227:559, 1974) suggested possible environmental sources for a garlicbreath odor. The correspondent states that "a laboratory technician might well have exposure to such compounds [selenium and tellurium] and also possibly in lipstick, if the technician is a woman." In further reference to compounds of selenium and tellurium, it is stated that these are "utilized in a large spectrum of industrial products and processes... and as a coloring component (red) in lipsticks."Perhaps the correspondent is alluding to cadmium sulfoselenide, also known as cadmium red. It is possible that this color may have been used in a few lipsticks prior to 1938. However, since that date, cadmium red has been interdicted by law for use in cosmetics and has not been used in lipsticks by any reputable manufacturer.
Brauer EW. Injustice to Cosmetic Industry. JAMA. 1974;228(6):697. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310019017
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