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Dangerous Kids Products: Lead in Paint Can Put a Scary Face on Halloween

With Halloween just a few days away, the Food and Drug Administration is warning parents to be on the lookout for face paint that may contain lead, mercury, and other dangerous toxins. It turns out that using face paint, once thought a safer alternative to wearing a mask (which sometimes makes it hard for a child to see out of and can increase the chances of injury during a fall accident or a pedestrian accident), isn’t necessarily a good idea.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics says it tested 10 of the more popular face paints out there and found that all of them contained lead. Six of them had skin allergens, including cobalt, nickel, and chromium, at levels higher than what the industry recommends. Also, the group discovered some labeling discrepancies. Some of the products say they are hypoallergenic when in fact they are not. One product’s label noted that the face paint was hypoallergenic and nontoxic when it actually contains high levels of lead, nickel, and cobalt.
The levels of lead that the study detected in the face paints varied from .05 to .065 parts per million. Although this is lower than the federal government’s limit for toys at 300 ppm, the medical community believes that any exposure to lead can be dangerous for kids.
For children, lead poisoning can lead to aggressive behavior, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, impaired neurological development, learning disabilities, hearing problems, muscle and joint pain, slowed growth, and brain damage.
It can’t be good for a child to wear lead paint on the face. He or she might even end up licking and swallowing the paint. Our child injury lawyers represent the families of children who suffer from serious health issues or have serious injuries caused by a defective or a dangerous product.
If you decide to paint your child’s face this Halloween, the FDA is recommending a number of safety precautions, including:

  • Make sure that the paint you select is intended for use on human skin.
  • If the paint smells bad, throw it out.
  • Conduct a patch test first. Test it on a small area of the body to make sure an allergic reaction doesn’t develop.
  • Check ingredients on the product.
  • Don’t use face paint that is fluorescent or luminescent near the eye area.
  • Wash off completely after use.

Happy Halloween!
Trick-or-treaters beware: Lead and other toxins in face paint could be scariest part of Halloween, NY Daily News, October 28, 2009
Warning: Halloween Face Paint Can Be Scary, The Daily Green, October 19, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Food and Drug Administration
Childhood Lead Poisoning, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Contact Gilbert & Ollanik, PC for a free case evaluation about your injuries to children case.

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