Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for the FDA to investigate Halloween makeup from China, as much of it contains potentially toxic chemicals.
In a weekend press conference, Schumer revealed 10 popular makeup kits sold at Halloween stores tested positive for low levels of lead, while six of the kits also had nickel, cobalt and chromium.
“These toxic ingredients can make a child sick, but they’re never listed on the package,” Schumer said. “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. When you buy makeup for your kids, make sure it doesn’t say ‘made in China.’”
Janet Nudelman, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, told CBS News the kits were tested in 2009, but she doubts anything has changed since then.
“It is clear the system is broken — we need to strengthen federal law so that companies are required to remove lead and all other harmful substances from kids’ face paint, and make the safest products possible,” she said.
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics recommends parents make their own costume makeup. Use unscented lotion or mild toothpaste as a base, then tint it with natural food coloring or colorful foods like berries, beets, avocado and cocoa.
Longtime exposure to lead has been linked to behavioral and memory problems; reduced fertility; and a greater risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, according to CBS News. (And in a famous example of harmful makeup, Buddy Ebsen was originally cast as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but was replaced after becoming gravely ill; he developed a lung infection from breathing in his character’s aluminum makeup.)