HealthyStuff.org report offers consumer tips for a safer Halloween

Washington, DC – Heavy metals and other additives are commonly found in Halloween costumes and accessories, according to a new report released today and available at  HealthyStuff.org. The non-profit group tested 44 costumes, 40 accessories and 21 decorations and party favors. Their testing found toxic chemicals including lead, flame retardants, tin compounds and phthalates — harmful chemicals that are linked to asthma, reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer.

The products were purchased from top national retailers including CVS, Kroger, Party City, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.

“Our nation’s biggest retailers have a responsibility to their customers to sell safe products, especially when those products are for children,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “Their considerable market share gives them the power and the responsibility to demand safer chemicals and products from their suppliers. This new testing underscores the need for big retailers to ensure products on their shelves, such as Halloween costumes, don’t contain toxic chemicals.”

The Mind the Store Campaign, coordinated by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, is challenging the nation’s top ten US retailers to get tough on toxic chemicals. Chemicals highlighted in the new HealthyStuff.org Halloween study are on the Hazardous 100+ list of dangerous chemicals, which advocates have been calling for retailers to disclose, eliminate, and safely substitute. Over the past year, both Walmart and Target have made strides in launching new initiatives to disclose and limit the use of certain toxic chemicals, and advocates have been calling on other retailers like Walgreens to join them.

“We found that seasonal products, like thousands of other products we have tested, are full of dangerous chemicals,” said Jeff Gearhart, HealthyStuff.org research director. “Poorly regulated toxic chemicals consistently show up in seasonal products. Hazardous chemicals in consumer products pose unnecessary and avoidable health hazards to children, consumers, communities, workers and our environment.”

On the web visit www.HealthyStuff.org for the full report.