A rogue trader sold fake lipstick with 300 times the legal level of lead – and called it Lady Danger.
Magistrates heard that if used regularly the cosmetic could result in high blood pressure, cardiac, reproductive and neurological problems.
It could also cause possible neurological damage to unborn babies if used by pregnant women.
Tests found that the fake MAC product contained 3702mg/kg of lead – the permitted limit is 10mg/kg.
It was being sold on eBay and Facebook by dodgy dealer Paul Lamerton who was also flogging fake mascara and kids’ Minion and Barbie watches.
Magistrates in Plymouth, Devon heard how trading standards officers raided his home in the city after a tip off.
They found that Lamerton, 47, was selling the lipstick at £6 each or four for £15. Authentic MAC lipsticks cost around £16.50 each.
He made a £823 profit selling the counterfeit goods over four years between 2012 and 2016.
Lamerton, who used the eBay account Lamerton 69, pleaded guilty to seven trading standards offencesand narrowly avoided jail with a suspended sentence.
For each offence he was given six weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. The sentences will run concurrently.
Magistrates had initially said the offences should each carry a nine week sentence but this was reduced due to Lamerton’s early guilty plea and his remorse.
Julian Jefferson, mitigating, said Lamerton had given up his job to care for his terminally ill wife and had started selling goods online to earn “a few extra quid”.
He said his client was “naïve” and would not have contemplated selling the lipsticks if he was aware if the unsafe lead content.
He added that Lamerton was truly remorseful for what he had done and would not be buying and selling fake goods online again.
Lamerton was also ordered to pay £400 towards costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
After the case Councillor Dave Downie, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities said: “These items were not only fake, but some were dangerous.
“The products may look like the real thing, but were not and consumers can put their health at risk by using them.
“The level of lead in one sample was incredible.
“Legitimate companies comply with regulations that are designed to keep us safe but counterfeiters avoid costs incurred and the taxes by legitimate companies.”