Group warns against toxic Halloween props, toys

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A toxics watchdog has cautioned Halloween event organizers and revelers from procuring items that may contain undisclosed toxic substances.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the warning as assorted Halloween-themed displays and products have started to appear in shopping malls and discount stores.

“Our investigation indicates that some Halloween items are laced with health-damaging toxic metals. Instead of adding excitement and fun to the celebration, these products may in fact endanger children’s health,” said Thony Dizon, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“Toxic metals are known to cause harm to adults and kids alike. But children are more vulnerable to harm from these substances because they consume more food and water and inhale more air per unit of body weight compared to adults,” said pediatrician Dr. Bessie Antonio, vice president of the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology.


Among the products analyzed for toxic metals were Halloween costumes, decorations, masks, scary props, candy containers and body and face paints.

Out of 90 samples, 20 (22 percent) were found to contain at least one toxic metal above regulatory limits. Lead, a potent neurotoxin that is particularly harmful for kids, was detected in 18 samples above the allowable limit of 90 parts per million (ppm).

To prevent children’s exposure to toxins in Halloween products, the EcoWaste Coalition encouraged the public to create their own eco-friendly Halloween costumes, among others.

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