Parents beware. As you scan those Halloween aisles in search of makeup, props and masks for your little goblins and ghouls, you should also be on the lookout for other Halloween frights. According to the Philippine environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition, many of the Halloween products on store shelves this year contain scary levels of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.
The group used an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to screen 60 Halloween costume products sold in cities throughout the Philippines. Seventeen of the 60 products sampled were found to have at least one metal at levels considered harmful. According to the analysis, 10 of the products contained lead up to 2,091 parts per million (ppm). For reference, the standard for lead paint here in the U.S. is 90 ppm. Also, of the 17 products that contained toxic metals, seven had more than one toxic metal, leading to potentially exponential health risks.
To be clear, these products and this research are from the Philippines. There's no word yet that these exact products are on store shelves in the U.S. Several years ago, the Washington Toxics Coalition
found similar toxins in products that were sold in the states. It would be nice to think that the companies that make these products have cleaned up their acts, but that is clearly not the case judging by this Philippine study.
Either way, this report serves as a warning to all parents searching for Halloween goodies this season, that we should all be extra careful about the makeup, masks, costumes and props that we buy our kids this season.