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What’s Halloween Without Something Frightening? – Phthalates in Halloween Costumes and Accessories

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:36pm

Sometimes when I read a news article and idea for a post occurs but, since I don’t have the resources of a mainstream media reporter, I can’t write it. This happened last week. I’ve been recently writing about phthalates, the potentially dangerous chemical added to hard plastic to make soft, squishy toys – see my posts here and here.

Last week, after reading yet another article on phthalates I saw my DS insert soft plastic vampire teeth into his mouth. What occurred to me was…what about Halloween costumes, accessories and accouterments? What horrors await there?

Despite searching all over the web, I couldn’t find that this idea had occurred to anyone else until now. Gary Chittim, an enterprising reporter over at KING5 TV in Washington apparently had the same thought and published this article - Toxic Dangers lurking in Halloween Costumes.

What he found was lead, phthalates and cadmium in a wide variety of Halloween accessories. Cadmium is not banned in the US at minimal levels. Phthalates, though long banned in Europe, are not banned in the US and, based on the recent recall of toys that supposedly did not contain lead paint…so what if they were?

Items that contained harmful substances included PVC masks, heavy lead jewelry and even pirate swords. He didn’t test out my vampire teeth…Hey Gary – can you do this for me?

Did I mention that I took the teeth away? Did I tell you we would be forgoing mask or make-up this year? Did I note that I’ll be going over my DS’s Roman soldier costume with a fine tooth comb trying to locate other hazards?

I’m going green this Halloween. How about you?

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