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Halloween safety: lead and phthalates


President Bush recently gave his approval to legislation banning lead from toys meant for children under the age of 12.

This is an important step forward in our ability to protect children from this dangerous neurotoxin which can often be found in products made for Halloween.

Even with Halloween products purchased at major chain stores, lead has been found in costumes, masks, fake teeth or gold grills, makeup, treat bags (i.e. plastic pumpkins), and more. Take a peek at just some of the recent recalls due to lead in fake jewelry! In 2007 alone, over 45 million toys were recalled due to concerns about lead.

The bill also bans six phthalates from use in toys meant for children under the age of 12. Phthalates, used to make plastics flexible, can also be found in may Halloween items are are linked to health concerns such as cancer, reproductive problems, and birth defects, amongst other things.

When considering items for your family’s Halloween, natural materials are usually the best. Wool, silk, cotton and hemp make great costumes, treat bags, and more. Wool is especially great for Halloween because it is naturally flame retardant.

This silk costume (and photo) is from Sarah’s Silks, a Green Halloween sponsor.

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