Smart discussion about toxics policy reform

Trick or treat? How about lead instead.

Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) have found lead, a potent neurotoxin, in 100 percent of 10 popular children’s face paints. The amounts were low – but, as CSC points out, there’s no safe level of lead exposure, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends protecting children from it.

The Campaign’s tests also found 6 of 10 face paints contaminated with nickel, cobalt or chromium, known skin allergens.

Of course, the timing of this report wasn’t an accident. Three days from now, on Halloween, millions of small trick-or-treaters will roam their neighborhoods with painted faces. Those who wear face paints will be exposed to toxic substances as a result of lax federal safety standards for the cosmetics industry.

Not the trick they and their parents should expect.

The personal care and cosmetics industries have been allowed to load up their products with almost any chemical ingredient they wish without first testing for safety. As a result, every day, people of all ages are slathering on all sorts of stuff laced with hazardous materials.

You can read the entire study here: Pretty Scary: Heavy Metals in Face Paints

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3 Responses to “Trick or treat? How about lead instead.”

  1. This is pretty scary, huh? Help us give the beauty industry a makeover, and demand regulation of all cosmetics – from face paint to lipstick to bubble bath to aftershave! Join the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics at!

  2. Unsafe cosmetics? When any entity (cosmetics industry, lawyers, etc.)”regulates itself” and profit or power is involved you know it MUST be questioned.

    That’s why for over 20 years I’ve used products imported from Japan. Super purified, highest quality ingredients is what makes the difference with unmatched quality control in a government approved, quasi-drug manufacturing facility that meets international ISO standards—both ISO 9001 for quality assurance and ISO 14001 for environmental management.

    Thank you EWG for giving me the tools to help spread the knowledge about unsafe cosmetics and skincare. It should be a course in every high school!

    • Sherrill says:


      What is the cosmetic co. you use from
      Japan? Is it Shisedo? What are the best
      research sites that rate cosmetics?
      And/or what are the best/safest cosmetics
      to use?