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Green Halloween

Halloween should be delightfully spooky, not terrifyingly toxic. But there are a couple of toxic hazards to watch out for as you create the perfect vampire or angry bird costume.

Halloween should be delightfully spooky, not terrifyingly toxic. But there are a couple of toxic hazards to watch out for as you create the perfect vampire or angry bird costume. 

Use caution with face makeup: 

A recent study of Halloween makeup by Environmental Working Group found lead contamination in ten out of ten samples! Because lead can build up in a child's body, even the small amount that ends up in your child's mouth or eyes can threaten their health. 

Halloween banditInstead of face makeup, consider hats, scarves or hoods that complete your child's Halloween look.

Though OEC hasn't tested them, there are companies including Terra FirmaWee Can Too and Luna Organics that offer Halloween kits that meet stricter standards for health. 

You can also experiment by making your own. Here's how: 

1) Start with a trusted lotion, toothpaste, sunscreen or diaper rash ointment as a base (see the safe cosmetics database to find the safest products). 

2) Mix in either "natural food coloring" or food-based color such as turmeric (yellow), beet juice (pink), juice from frozen berries (blue), powdered spirulina (frankenstein green)

3) After applying makeup, use a safe powder such as corn starch to "set" the color and keep it from smearing. 

Avoid vinyl plastic:

make a robot costume

Pliable plastic with that "shower curtain" feel and smell is usually PVC/vinyl--and wearing PVC can expose your kid to toxic phthalates and a whole host of volatile gases, as found in lab studies by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.

Look for masks and costumes that are labeled "PVC-free" or "phthalate free" or made from materials other than plastic.

Sources for silk, cotton and even cardboard costumes are available at greenhalloween.org (a project of ecomoms)

Have fun: 

Candy may be an inevitable Halloween reality, but it doesn't have to be the focus of the fun. Look for active celebration fun and healthier alternatives for party snacks. Here are some great resources:

Tiny Green Mom online magazine: treats, crafts and more for Halloween.

 15 Hauntingly Healthy Halloween Treats: "finger" food, mummy pizzas and apple bites that bite back.

Activites and other tips and resources from greenhalloween.org  (a program started by ecomom alliance)

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