!!! Parents take note!!!
A recent article on HealthDay News two days ago reported about reseachers finding lead in the facepainting paints usually used for Halloween and facepainting. If your kids love facepainting especially for the Halloween upcoming, you might have to take note!
The full article can be found here: http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100247626>1=31036
And the full research paper here: http://safecosmetics.org/downloads/PrettyScary_Oct2709.pdfTo summarise the article, researchers have done some testing and research on common brands of facepaints easily available on the market – either off the market or on the internet, and have found that:
“All 10 face paint products tested contained lead, and six out of 10 had known skin allergens, including nickel, cobalt or chromium, at levels above recommendations of industry studies.“
For those who did’nt know, heavy metals (eg. nickel, lead etc) are detrimental to children, especially for their growth and development. Even more scary is that many of the facepaints are also mislabeled! Some of them were labeled as hypoallergens even though they were not!
By the way, FDA approved paints actually do NOT check for heavy metal, and many of the brands were FDA approved, which really raises the question if FDA approval is a good enough standard for face paints to go by!!
This is scary especially as a biological science student myself, because i’m all TOO clear about what kind of effects these heavy metal can have on the human body. I’m sure many of us are aware that certain crystals cannot be used to contain drinking water – simply because they contain lead! What more about paints that are directly applied to areas like the face, near the eyes (!!!) of the young children…
From my regular parties, i know that children really do like facepainting in general, and as some might say – what’s the harm in just once in a blue moon? Well the thing is experts do say there might be harm even if you use it only once a year (and i know many kids to be regular party attendees!), and in the case of health, it’s always better safe than sorry!
Even though the above article is based on paints in USA, i believe many of our local sources are similarly from overseas. Since that is so, here are some of my suggestion if your child really likes facepainting:
- Suggest other activites like customising your own party bags! This is an AWESOME activity at a party – the kids design their own party bags (and if they are too young, they get stickers to choose and stick) and they all have great fun showing off their bags too!
- If your child insist on a facepainter, check with your facepainter their paint source and insist only on safe paints from reputable companies.
- Use reputable facepainters only!
- Ask that the facepainter avoid the eye area. (Give a really wide berth at the eye area)
- Instead of painting on the face, do body paint (eg on the arm) instead. While it is applying onto the children’s body still, the body epidermis is less absorbent than the facial epidermal layer.
- Make your own colourful facepaint from organic sources for DIY fun instead. Wiki-How teaches you how to do it from food stuff! If it is safe for consumption, it is safe to apply on the skin! http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Face-Paint
It’s always better to be safe than sorry – especially in the case of the health of our young ones, so i do hope that parents will take note about this!