Expert warns of toxicity risk in some Halloween costumes

Experts are warning about toxins in some Halloween costumes, candy and even trick-or-treat bags.

Posted: Oct 1, 2021 10:11 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2021 10:11 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Halloween is coming up soon, but before you buy that costume, a heads up.

Experts are warning about toxins in some Halloween costumes, candy, and even trick or treat bags.

Anchor Hayley Watts spoke with Tonya Harris, environmental toxin expert and childhood cancer survivor about what these high-vinyl products can do to our bodies.

Harris said many Halloween costumes are made with flame retardant chemicals, which sounds safer, but some of these flame retardant chemicals act as hormone disruptors, some are linked to lower IQ and are associated with issues in brain development, behavior problems, attention issues in children, and others are linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

"Children do not have developed enough systems to detoxify chemicals and flush them out of the body quickly, allowing chemicals to build up in their bodies and do long-term harm," Tonya said. "Some of these toxic chemicals act as endocrine disruptors, which can be especially harmful for children during important times of development."

Endocrine disruptors interfere with our body's hormones, causing an over or under-production of hormones.

Some things to be aware of include heavy metal in facepaint.

Harris said you can buy a non-toxic face paint colored with natural colorants.

Also, look out for flame retardant chemicals like vinyl masks, especially PVC, that can be contaminated with phthalates, which are linked to hormone disruption, lower IQ in children and early puberty; cadmium and lead.

As for candy, look out for artificial colorings which Harris said can contribute to behavior and hyperactivity.

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