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12:18 PM

KMBC 9: Some face paints sold in stores may be toxic

Study shows heavy metals, including lead, may be in face paints used at Halloween

some face paints are toxic

"I didn't know they were still allowed to sell things you would put on people's faces that contain lead. That's kind of surprising to me and it worries me, honestly."

That's the reaction KMBC 9 got from local moms they talked to about a study showing heavy metals were present in certain Halloween face paints. Many people assume if it's on store shelves, it must be safe.

But Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a toxicologist at Children's Mercy, says cosmetics are loosely regulated and not required to list all ingredients. She advises against using face paints on young children.

"We shouldn't expose them needlessly to toxins largely because their brains are not done, and they are the ones who could be most harmed by these chemicals. So if we can avoid them, we should," said Dr. Lowry.

If you are using face paint at Halloween, or even for a play, Dr. Lowry suggests buying products made in the U.S. because there's more cosmetics regulation here than in other countries.

She also says exposure is key, so you will want to limit the use of these products.

"So if we have these products and even though they may have some contaminants you put it on one night if you are going trick-or-treating, if you wash it off and it's a short period of time, I think our children are going to be okay."


See the full story via KMBC 9.

Learn more about the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Innovation at Children's Mercy.