Wednesday, October 21, 2009

FDA Caution Regarding Halloween Face Paint

A recall of face paint in May that gave some Girl Scouts rashes is one of the reasons the Food and Drug Administration is warning parents to be careful that the paints don't cause problems of their own this Halloween. "Most of these products are completely safe, but there have been reports of adverse events and allergic reactions," says a FDA representative. Under the law, the FDA doesn't have the authority to regulate cosmetics and face paints before they go to market, though it does regulate the colors used in them. And when there are problems, the FDA also can't recall them; it can only ask the manufacturer or distributor to do so. The FDA is asking parents to report any problems with face paint this Halloween to its "adverse event" hotline at 800-332-1088.

The FDA's advice:

1. Don't use anything on the face that isn't intended for skin.
2. If face paint has a bad smell, it could be a sign of contamination or bacteria. Throw it away.
3. Some face paints have pictures showing people wearing them near their eyes even though the labels say "not for use near eyes." Believe the label, not the picture.
4. Try a dab of the face paint on an arm a few days before wearing to check for allergic reactions. 5. Check to make sure any colors in the face paint are FDA-approved by looking at the Summary of Color Additives on the FDA's website. If there's a color in your makeup that isn't on the list, don't use it.
6. Be careful with fluorescent ("neon" or "day-glow") and luminescent ("glow-in-the-dark") colors. None of them are for use near the eyes.
7. Don't sleep with face paint on; wearing it too long may irritate the skin or cause it to flake off and get in the eyes.

Courtesy USA Today.

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