Tests find toxic metals in children's Halloween makeup

9NEWS at 6 a.m. 10/26/16.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A word of warning from an environmental watchdog group about some of that makeup and face-paint your child may be wearing this Halloween: It could contain heavy metals.

"When it comes to Halloween makeup and novelty makeup for children, the tests are showing there are heavy metals showing up," said Jen Coleman with the Oregon Environmental Council.

A recent study done by the Breast Cancer Fund analyzed a variety of Halloween makeup kits from across the country -- makeup marketed to kids.

Of the nearly 48 makeup palettes it tested, the group found at least one toxic heavy metal in nearly half of them.

In nine of the palettes, it found lead.

"Even a small amount of lead exposure, the kind of lead you might get from a little bit of makeup going in the mouth, is going to potentially have effects," Coleman said.

The study found, the darker the pigment, the higher the level of lead.

Coleman said the problem is that, in most cases, parents have no way of knowing if the Halloween makeup they're putting on their kids contains heavy metals because they're not listed on the labels.

The makeup, even if it's for kids, does not have to be tested.

"The FDA that regulates makeup does not have the power to require pre-market testing," Coleman said.

Coleman said your safest bet is to use all-natural makeup.

But if you need to use the Halloween products, "don't use the darkest pigment colors," she said.

In addition to heavy metals, the Breast Cancer Fund study also found other potentially concerning chemicals in the makeup.

The group says this study shows the need for an update to our nation's current cosmetic safety law, that was enacted 75 years ago.


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