Lead contamination can appear almost anywhere and this time the source is Halloween costumes.
U.S. Customs officials have seized over 1300 pirate costumes made in China because they contain 11 times the legal limit for lead. The buttons and trim on the costume could cause serious problems for children who put them in their mouths, reports Today.
The costumes were intercepted on their way to a Seattle-area distributor but now they're destined to be destroyed. Officials had targeted the costume manufacturer and it paid off.
Customs officials target incoming products for several reasons, including previous offenses by the shipper, manufacturer, or importer, and the country of origin, according to Today.
In this case the shipment was targeted because of a past violation although the name of the violator was not released.
Exposure to lead is dangerous for children and can lead to significant developmental problems. To prevent the harm of elevated levels of lead the federal government tightly controls the amount of lead that is acceptable in children's products.
The regulations don't just apply to food and drinks since children are prone to chew on things or put them in their mouths leading to ingestion of lead in products not meant for consumption.
If your child has lead poisoning, you may be able to get help paying medical bills. If the health problems started with a product that had unsafe levels of lead, contact an attorney who can help you build a case against the company that made it.
These costumes were caught but not all of them will necessarily be found. If you buy a Halloween costume be careful about where it was manufactured and produced.
Costumes made outside the U.S. could contain higher levels of lead especially if they come from a country that doesn't tightly control the amount of lead in children's products.
If you're still worried about what's in those pre-made costumes, consider making one with your kids using items and clothes from around the house. Not only will it likely be safer, it's also a great way to let your kids use their imagination.