The senator said that cobalt, lead, and nickel among others are present in face paints but they are never listed on labels.
Sen. Charles Schumer also said that face paints sold by Rubie’s Costume Company and Fun World are just a few examples of the dangerous items that can sicken children.
Schumer recently submitted a letter to the FAD, urging the federal agency to tighten rules for these products and force producers to list hazardous ingredients on packages.
The Democratic Senator also told parents to be careful with which products they pile in shopping carts. He explained that if a brand is on a shelf it doesn’t mean that the product was rigorously tested and found safe.
“Parents are totally clueless as to what they’re putting on their child’s face,”
the senator added.
He also advised parents to simply not buy face paints that are made in China.
According to a report from a consumer safety watchdog The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), all tested face paints contained lead, and 60 percent had nickel, cobalt, chromium or other dangerous chemicals. The group tested 10 popular brands of face paints.
The CSC, which is a non-for-profit which conducts awareness campaigns about the dangerous ingredients found in cosmetics and personal care products, published its report on face paint safety in 2009. But health experts say that few things have changed since.
Most U.S. face paints contain cobalt, nickel, chromium or a combination of these three. These chemicals exceed industry recommendations and may lead to skin rashes and allergies. CSC researchers explained that lead is also present in those products and it can harm children.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, however, does not yet know how much lead may pose a health risk to the human body. But lead was banned from house paints decades ago.
Health experts argue that lead poisoning is a serious issue. Too much lead can impact a child’s brain while his or her neural networks are still developing. As a result, kids exposed to high levels of lead reported difficulties in paying attention, learning and playing.
Past studies showed that lead can also cause anemia and damage kidneys on the long run. Extreme doses can lead to seizures or death. That being said, it is no wonder that Sen. Schumer warned against dangerous chemicals in Halloween face paint.
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