ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Iced Teas Pose High Risk of Kidney Stones
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
FITNESS
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Run for Your Life
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
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Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable

(HealthDay News) -- If your little goblins or vampires are set to paint their faces this Halloween to look all the more believable, you may want to think twice, according to a new report released just in time for the holiday.

The report, issued by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, is titled: Pretty Scary: Could Halloween Face Paint Cause Lifelong Health Problems? Researchers tested 10 face paint products, the types widely available via the Internet or in craft or Halloween stores.

"All 10 face paint products tested contained lead, and six out of 10 had known skin allergens, including nickel, cobalt or chromium, at levels above recommendations of industry studies," said Stacy Malkan, the campaign's co-founder and a co-author of the report. Malkan is also the author of Not Just a Pretty Face, a 2007 book detailing what she sees as the potentially hazardous ingredients in cosmetics.

For the new report, she said, "We looked for a range of heavy metals, and we didn't find mercury or arsenic. Other countries have found those in face paints. We did unfortunately find lead in all the products." Exposure to lead can cause developmental and behavioral problems, experts agree.

Then there were the labeling problems, with some products claiming to be hypoallergenic when they were not. One product "was advertised on the package as nontoxic and hypoallergenic, [and] had some of the highest levels of nickel, cobalt and lead," Malkan said.

The lead found ranged from 0.054 parts per million to 0.65 parts per million. Four of 10 products had nickel, ranging from 2.1 to 5.9 parts per million; two of 10 had cobalt, with levels from 4.8 to 5.5 parts per million. Five of 10 had chromium, ranging from 1.6 to 120 parts per million. According to the report, levels of each should not exceed 1 part per million for consumer products.

Earlier this year, a face paint from China was recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when some children had rashes and itching; the FDA later found microbial contamination in the product.

Malkan says more oversight is needed by the FDA to regulate products, including face paints. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to premarket approval by the FDA, except color additives. Recalls of cosmetics are done voluntarily by manufacturers or distributors if products are found hazardous or deceptive; the FDA can take regulatory action through the federal court system. But this level of oversight is not strong enough, Malkan and others believe.

What's a parent to do? Using the face paint just once a year "is probably not going to do anything at all [healthwise]," contended Dr. Dennis Woo, former chair of pediatrics at Santa Monica-UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, Santa Monica, Calif., who reviewed the report. But he said he is surprised by the amounts of heavy metals found in the face paints. "We should start looking at this stuff. There's no reason these heavy metals need to be in cosmetics."

His colleague, Dr. Wally Ghurabi, chief of emergency services, Santa Monica-UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, believes that even once-a-year use of the face paints may not be worth it. "Concerned parents should skip it," he said. If those who apply the paints aren't careful, he said, and get the paint too close to the eyes or nose, that could be potentially harmful.

Malkan, too, votes that parents avoid face-paint use in children. But if you are using them, the FDA advises that parents:

* Follow directions carefully, including instructions not to use the products around the eyes.
* If the face paint smells bad, don't use it as it could be contaminated.
* Consider a test of the face paint a few days before Halloween to be sure your child doesn't get an allergic reaction to it.

Another option is to "go natural," said Jessa Blades, a natural makeup artist and green living expert based in New York City. First, look up "safe" or green cosmetics on the campaign's Web site. Then, consider black eye pencil for whiskers. Or mix a quarter teaspoon of the spice turmeric with unscented lotion to make "war paint."

For fake blood, mix corn syrup, Castile liquid soap and a dash of red food coloring, Blades said.

SOURCES: Stacy Malkan, co-founder, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and co-author, Pretty Scary: Could Halloween Face Paint Cause Lifelong Health Problems? Oct. 27, 2009, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics; Jessa Blades, natural makeup artist and green living expert, New York City; Wally Ghurabi, D.O., chief of emergency services, Santa Monica--UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, Santa Monica, Calif.; Dennis Woo, M.D., former chief of pediatrics, Santa Monica--UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, Santa Monica, Calif., and associate professor, pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles; U.S. Food and Drug Administration Published on: October 27, 2009