Lead-tainted Halloween costumes concern safety advocates

7NEWS finds lead in Halloween props, masks

DENVER - This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission seized two shipments to children's Halloween pirate costumes because they contained eleven times the legal limit of lead.

"It takes very little lead to get into a child's system to cause permanent damage," said Ruth Ann Norton with the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. "The government can't catch everything. We've seen this lots and lots of time. Parents still have to be vigilant."
7NEWS Reporter Jaclyn Allen went into a Denver costume store with certified lead inspector Mike McCarty, who founded Teton Lead Paint Testing.
McCarty quickly found props, including masks and plastic swords that contained low levels of lead.
When he took reading of beads on a mask, McCarty found double the legal levels of lead.
"There's lead there. Is it enough to be overly concerned with? If it was my kid, I wouldn't be playing with it," said McCarty.
All of the costumes tested, however, did not have detectable lead levels.
There is debate about whether the do-it-yourself lead tests found at hardware stores are an effective way to detect lead.
Norton suggested buying costumes made in America or making costumes yourself. If the costume is made overseas, Norton said, avoid those with appliques or glazes.
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