Halloween face paint may be highly toxic, due to lead and other dangerous chemicals, warned U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York.
During a press conference, the politician drew attention to the health risks that holiday makeup poses, claiming that the full list of ingredients is seldom included on such packages.
Since this information is often incomplete or entirely absent, children risk applying face paint that contains lead, cobalt, nickel and chromium, without even realizing it.
Schumer supported this statement by showing Halloween makeup products manufactured by Wet N’ Wild Fantasy Makers, Fun World and Rubie’s Costume Company.
He also alleged that the risks are higher when the face paint kits are made in China, and warned consumers to avoid purchasing Halloween makeup that has been produced there.
The Senator has even addressed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, insisting that authorities should regulate such items much more strictly.
For example, companies that sell Halloween makeup should be under the obligation to present the complete list of ingredients. In addition, health inspectors should routinely analyze these products to detect potentially harmful components.
Currently, no such monitoring is being conducted in order to identify face paints and other Halloween cosmetics that contain heavy metals, so these toxic substances remain on display, on supermarket shelves.
Moreover, according to New York’s senior senator, parents should be more careful when buying novelty makeup for their children, instead of indiscriminately adding items in their shopping carts.
“Parents are totally clueless as to what they’re putting on their child’s face. If they see it on the shelf they think it’s safe, but it’s not”.
As Schumer pointed out, too much attention has been given to dangerous candies and sweets that kids might consume for Halloween, and too little focus has been placed on health risks associated with face paint.
Indeed, it appears that the politician’s claims are well-funded. In a study conducted by the national coalition Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, it was determined that all of the 10 samples which had been analyzed had tested positive for lead, and 6 of them also had traces of nickel, chromium and/or cobalt.
Although lead has been banned from being used as a cosmetics ingredient in the European Union and Canada, there is no prohibition in the U.S. as well.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes, lead exposure poses a significant risk for children even in small doses, since its rate of absorption is around 4-5 times higher than among adults. Also, this type of poisoning is particularly insidious since initially it has no discernible symptoms.
However, in time, as the heavy metal builds up in the body, complications encountered among kids can include abdominal pain, vomiting, hearing loss, kidney failure, developmental delays, learning difficulties, seizures and possibly death.
Image Source: Flickr