It’s that time of year again…orange and black adorn most retail outlets, spiders,
witches, skeletons and goblins adorn many neighboring doorways, windows and
Halloween is a fun tradition that many of us enjoy. Most parents are aware of the
toxins found in candy and the ‘treats’ collected by their precious wee ones.
But what about those scary costumes?
What a new study released on Thursday from the Ecology Center’s HealthyStuff.org
project found might shock you. It certainly made me think about what I’m putting
on my children.
Surprisingly, many children’s Halloween costumes were found to contain high
levels of toxic chemicals.
The study took 106 Halloween product from chains like Walmart, CVS, and others,
and tested them. It found many harmful chemicals present in an incredibly high
Halloween costumes (and other items) are categorized as “Seasonal products”.
The director admitted these items contains “poorly regulated toxic chemicals”
and “pose unnecessary and avoidable health hazards to children.”
As an example, a Toddler Batman Muscle Costume contained phthalates and
lead at high levels. That’s just one small example.
Here are some of the toxic substances that could be in our children’s costumes:
1 Heavy metals (lead, chromium, cadmium)
– act as neurotoxins
– unsafe at any dosage
– causes damage the developing brain and immune system
2 — PVC (or polyvinyl chloride)
known human carcinogen
3 — phthalate plasticizers.
linked to breast cancers,
hormone level changes,birth defects
4– Bromine, chlorine, iodine and fluorine
common endocrine disruptors,
it competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine.
affects the thyroid
– other flame retardants.
****Some even contained products/ingredients that have been banned by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission for use in children’s products.
What we can do instead of store bought costumes?
One great alternative is to make our own using materials like natural cotton, or other fabrics. Safer, cheaper, more fun, better for our environment, albeit time consuming.
(photo cred: redbookingmag.com)
The researchers also say that the harmful chemicals present in these costumes
are prevalent in many products people use year-round, not just at Halloween.
This can add to our daily toxic burden and cause problems down the road.
There is a growing awareness about these toxic substances among store owners
parents and other consumers.
The responsibility lies on the shoulders of everyone involved. Manufacturer,
retail and consumer….and yes, the government as well.
I strongly feel that as consumers we can change how a product is made.
It’s up to us to read clothing, personal care and other product labels, look things up and educate ourselves enough to
understand what is in our children’s food, skin care and yes, unfortunately
even Halloween costumes.
Brought to you by Mothers For Safer Products
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