Lead found in children's face paint

Last updated 13:53 17/02/2014
Carnival Colors facepaint
UNSAFE: Carnival Colors facepaint, which contains high levels of lead.

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A children's face paint for sale in Wellington shops has been found to contain sky-high levels of lead.

Chinese-made Carnival Colors contained 15,200mg of lead per kilogram, Consumer NZ tests revealed. Lead is banned from face paints in New Zealand, and is limited to 90mg/kg in toys.

Have you or your family used Carnival Colors facepaint? Contact the Dominion Post on 04 474 0051, or email news@dompost.co.nz

Young children are particularly at risk from exposure to lead, which can cause developmental problems, Consumer chief executive Sue Chetwin said.

Carnival Colors was sold at children's shop Smallfry in Thorndon and discounters Krazy$Dealz in Lower Hutt. The lead was found in the yellow paint, one of four colours in the pack.

The product packaging failed to provide contact details for its New Zealand importer, but Consumer traced the paint to Auckland-based Apollogrip Importers Ltd, a wholesaler of $2 and variety items.

Apollogrip said the paint had been distributed to stores around the country and has now contacted its customers to tell them to remove it from sale.

Smallfry owner Trish Cooper said she was shocked to learn last Tuesday that the product was unsafe.

''Obviously I was appalled.''

The paint was a Halloween product, so had been on sale since last October, she said.

Of six packets she originally bought, three were sold to customers, one to Consumer, and she pulled the remaining two from shelves.

There was no way of contacting the people who had bought the paint, Ms Cooper said.

The incident had put her off selling face paint again, she said.

''You think if something is given to you in New Zealand, it's going to be fine.''

Ms Cooper now knew to check there was an ingredient list on the back of cosmetics packets, she said.

Krazy$Dealz director Ash Manocha also had not realised the importance of checking ingredients labels, he said.

''We never knew we had to. It was really shocking. We had no clue.''

Of 12 packets the company bought in January for its Lower Hutt and Dunedin shops, only three or four had sold, he said. 

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- The Dominion Post


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