Dangerous lead levels in face paint

Girl having face painted

Tests of a children’s face paint kit have found it contains extremely high levels of lead. Consumer NZ has found a Carnival Colors-branded paint contained 15, 200mg/kg of lead. 

Lead is prohibited from use in face paints under the Cosmetic Products Group Standard. Young children are particularly at risk from exposure to lead, which can cause developmental and other problems. 

Consumer NZ Chief Executive Sue Chetwin says that the face paint kit claimed it had ‘passed authentication’ to European toy safety standards, but the high levels of lead detected meant it should never have been sold. 

Toxicity requirements for toys – lead

Children’s toys that contain lead in their accessible parts at a migration level greater than 90 mg/kg of toy material are declared to be unsafe goods and are prohibited from supply indefinitely. 

Migration level means the value calculated after testing to the standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2003 Safety of toys – Part 3: Migration of certain elements. The standard covers toxicity requirements for toys and toxicity labelling requirements for certain materials used in toys.

 Read more on toy safety:

Buy AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2012

Published in consumer and occupational safety.