I was just reading a report from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics this morning that is more than a little disturbing. They released a new study, entitled Pretty Scary, which basically says that they have found heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium in childrens' face paints. Even more upsetting is the fact that these ingredients were NOT listed on the labels. Here is a small excerpt about what they found:
For this report, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent 10 children's face paints to an independent lab to test for heavy metals. Among our findings:
- 10 out of 10 children's face paints we tested contained low levels of lead, ranging from 0.05 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm).
Experts say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that parents avoid using cosmetics on their children that could be contaminated with lead. Lead exposures early in life can lead to hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, IQ deficits, reduced school performance, aggression and delinquent behavior. It can also impact fertility, including increasing risk for miscarriage and reducing sperm quality. Early-life lead exposure can even increase risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- 6 out of 10 products contained the potent allergens nickel, chromium and/or cobalt at levels ranging from 1.6 to 120 ppm – far above the safety recommendations of industry studies.
Nickel, chromium, and cobalt can trigger skin rashes that appear throughout life with subsequent exposures.
You can read more on the report and download the full report here: Pretty Scary: Heavy Metals in Face Paints. You will also find recipes for making your own face paint.