Study: Halloween makeup contains heavy metals

A study of Halloween makeup has discovered something horrific: there is heavy metal in some of the products, and it isn’t the Megadeth or Kiss kind.

According to, the Michigan-based Ecology Center recently tested 31 face paint products purchased in the state and identified at least one toxic heavy metal in all of themm including mercury, lead, chromium and arsenic.   


Astonishingly, over half of the products contained cadmium, which is a reproductive and neural toxicant that can cause brain damage, said Rebecca Meuninck, the environmental health campaign director for the Ecology Center.


The products were purchased at national retail chains Target, Halloween City, Party City and Spirit Halloween.


“Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of heavy metals,” explained Kenneth Fletcher, the associate executive director for government relations and outreach for the Michigan Nurses Association.

“Heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and chromium are associated with learning disabilities, brain damage, skin allergies and even cancer.”


HealthyStuff has published the results of the study on its website which are quite alarming.

It should be noted that lawmakers and a children’s environmental advocacy group in Michigan are currently pushing for a ban on toxic toys.


Rebekkah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, announced at a news conference on Oct. 18 her plan to present legislation that would keep kids safe from toxic chemicals in toys.


The Safe Children’s Products Act would require Michigan to create a list of chemicals of concern in children’s products. It also would force toy importers and large manufactures to reveal the presence of chemicals that concern parents.


Although the research was conducted in Michigan, it should concern people outside the state since the toxic makeup was purchased at national retail chains. As such, it’s quite likely that the metal filled makeups have made it to Target, Halloween City, Party City and Spirit Halloween stores all over the US.


The Ecology Center recommends that parents exercise caution this Halloween when selecting a makeup, or consider using a recipe to make their own safe makeup at home.