Study: Some face paints linked to allergies

October 27, 2009 5:49:35 PM PDT
A new report on the safety of face paints for Halloween has drawn the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. Those test results released on Tuesday, show several face paints contain heavy metals, including lead. The Food and Drug Administration plans to examine the report.

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"We looked at 10 children's face paints, sent them to an independent lab to test for a range of heavy metals and we found, unfortunately, that all of the products did have low levels of lead, which is extremely toxic to the brain, even at low doses," says Stacy Malkan, from the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics.

The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has raised safety questions in the past about possible toxins in baby products and health and beauty products.

"Alex face paint, was the highest in lead and in the grease paint crayons we did find all four metals: lead, chromium, nickel and cobalt," says Malkan. "Which are top allergens in children and kids can have rash reactions to them."

But, the Personal Care Products Council, representing the cosmetics industry, sent ABC7 the following statement: "The trace levels of naturally occurring heavy metals reportedly found in the products are well below the allowable levels set by FDA for approved colors and do not present a safety concern."

The FDA says naturally occurring contaminants are not required to be listed, but after ABC7 sent them the Campaign For Safe Cosmetic's report, the FDA sent ABC7 the following statement: "FDA is reviewing the results of this report. The agency continues to recommend steps to minimize problems with face paints." These recommendations include: "If you're decorating your skin with something you've never used before, you might try a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction before you put it on your face."

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