Environmental group warns Halloween makeup may be hazardous

Environmental group warns Halloween makeup may be hazardous

It’s as Halloween as candy and plastic pumpkins, but the makeup that transforms your little one into a vampire or kitty cat could be hazardous to your child’s health, according to an environmental group in Ann Arbor.

The nonprofit Ecology Center tested 31 types of novelty makeup purchased at big-box stores and at temporary Halloween stores. More than half contained cadmium, the center said.

Cadmium, a naturally occurring metal, is unsafe at different levels, depending on how humans are exposed to it. It has been linked to lung, bone and kidney damage in people.

Less clear is its toxicity when applied to human skin, said Rebecca Meuninck, the Ecology Center’s environmental health campaign director.

Until research determines what levels are safe or unsafe, Meuninck said parents should err on the side of caution. The Ecology Center’s project, www.healthystuff.org, has recipes for homemade makeup made from ingredients such as corn syrup and cornstarch.

“We don’t want to ruin Halloween, but we do want to get consumers the information so they can make purchasing choices,” Meuninck said.

All of the 31 items the Ecology Center tested had traces of some metal. Some items contained chromium; at certain levels, it is an approved additive in novelty makeup in the U.S.

Marc Beige, owner of Rubie’s Costume in New York, the manufacturer of some of the makeup, challenged the tests. In a statement, he said his companies use independent, accredited labs to ensure products meet all federal and state guidelines, and they “are committed to only sell safe, quality products for their customers.”

source: USA Today

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