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Parents beware: Hidden dangers lurking in Halloween face paints
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Forget the candy-induced cavities. For parents, the most frightening thing about Halloween should be the paint were using on our childrens faces. - photo by Jessica Ivins
Forget the candy-induced cavities. For parents, the most frightening thing about Halloween should be the paint were using on our childrens faces.

Thats according to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is calling out the Food and Drug Administration for not doing enough to test novelty makeup particularly those manufactured in China for harmful chemicals.

Every Halloween we worry about the candy were putting in our kids mouths, but nowadays, we need to worry about the face paint were putting on our kids faces, Schumer said in a release. Toxic Chinese chemicals in childrens Halloween makeup and face paint is a scary thought, and yet, often times, parents dont even know whats in these products.

Currently, the FDA doesnt do any sort of routine testing on these types of products. Many of them, Schumer said, contain metals like lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium all of which pose serious health risks to children.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, even small amounts of lead in the bloodstream can impact cognitive development and affect IQ, academic achievement and attention skills in children.

Schumer wants the FDA to require companies to list ingredients clearly on the packaging of these types of paints and cosmetics particularly because lead isnt currently banned from makeup sold in the U.S.

I am urging the FDA to unmask the ingredients that are often left off of the packaging, Schumer said.

Back in 2009, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report that found 10 out of 10 face paints tested by researchers contained lead. Six out of the 10 contained dangerous level of skin allergens like nickel, cobalt and chromium.

Additionally, labels were often misleading using terms like hypoallergenic on products that contained skin allergens.

Parents and all consumers have a right to know what ingredients are in the paint they are buying for use on their skin or the skin of their children, Schumer said. I strongly urge the FDA to use its existing authority and increase enforcement of products that are currently on the market that are mislabeled, misbranded or adulterated.

The FDA doesnt have the power to stop cosmetic products from hitting the shelves that responsibility falls on the manufacturer. However, the agency offers a list of approved color additives that have been tested and found safe.

Parents are urged to check that list before purchasing face paint this Halloween. Additionally, Forbes released a list of four companies that claim to offer toxin-free novelty paint.