Lifewatch: Lead found in face paint

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Tests of popular face paints used for Halloween costumes have prompted a new health warning for lead contamination.

While all the products tested don't violate the FDA's limits on lead an other metal ingredients, critics argue lead should not be in any products for children.

While they say face paint is safe, a report sponsored by the campaign for safe cosmetics found traces of lead in 10 products easily available in stores and on the internet.

The CDC found that lead exposure can cause developmental problems.

"You are dealing with something that is highly toxic to the nervous system and these effects can be irreversible," said Dr. Samuel Epstein with the Cancer Prevention Coalition.

The products tested include: Alex Face Paint, Mehron Glow in the Dark Fantasy FX, Snazaroo Face Painting Kit, Jovi Make-up, and Mehron 6-Pack Greasepaint Crayons.

The agency representing the cosmetics industry released a statement saying, "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."

But experts consider lead to be a probable human carcinogen.

If you choose to use face paint, the FDA says it should be kept away from mouths, eyes, and should not be used at all if it has a bad smell.

For homemade face paint recipes, click here.