Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | October 29, 2009

Scarier than a goblin?

jack-o-lantern“Again Jesus spoke to them, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12

“But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Luke 18:16

As you carve your jack-o-lantern this Halloween, it can also be an opportunity to reflect on John 8:12. If Jesus were here today, what might he say if he learned that some of the face paint that kids are putting on this Halloween and throughout the year contain common allergens, some at levels that even exceed industry recommendations? Or that some of the face paints contain small amounts of lead (while the health effects of absorption through the skin is not well understood, it is recommended that people not put lead around the mouth or on the hands to avoid ingestion)? We, as disciples of Christ, can walk with our torch of justice by ensuring that vulnerable populations, such as children, are not exposed to toxic chemicals when possible.

Pretty Scary- New face paint reportThe Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a new report Tuesday called Pretty Scary. They tested face paints and theater makeup for lead (a neurotoxin), nickel, cobalt, and chromium (common allergens linked to contact dermatitis and skin sensitation). It is concerning that the products did not list any of these chemicals on their labels. Some products even said they were “hypo-allergenic” when they contained these common skin allergens. Check out the report here to learn more.

Jesus called on his disciples to welcome the children. We, too, should welcome and nurture children by ensuring that they grow up healthy and humble. They should understand the importance of caring for their bodies as holy temples (I Corinthians 6:19-20), in addition to vulnerable populations and God’s Creation. One place to start is to ensure kids  eat a healthy diet (don’t eat too much Halloween treats; or better yet, try and pass out healthy options), get plenty of exercise, and avoid toxic chemicals when possible.

The FDA currently does not have a lot of regulatory power or resources to regulate the chemicals in our cosmetics products such as face paint, deodorant, colognes, and makeup. It will take bold witness from people of faith and Congress to ensure that children and performers can express their creativity on Halloween (or any other day) without worrying about what is lurking in their face paint.

New Healthy Spa Toolkit

New Healthy Spa Toolkit

Additionally, while exposure to these common allergens, and potential exposure to lead is certainly a concern, there are personal care products that contain lead in higher amounts or are applied directly on the lips; other they contain scarier chemicals linked to other life threatening additions such as cancer or reproductive harm.

To learn more about safe personal care products, download our Healthy Spa workshop guide and toolkit for people of faith.



  1. I have a novel idea that wil cut emission by at least 50%.

    The world population is exploding by more that 75 MILLION more people per year. They add to pollution and consumption. Many third world nation have large families. Give them reproductive services, such as vasectomy and condoms. . Poor nations will never come out of their problems until they reduce their breeding and start educating their people.

    There, e p[roblem solved.

    Ps. US polatiopn is increasing ny amlomost 4 MILLION per year, nostly die to immigration and throir larhge families. Look eople we ned to stop this plauge. before we killour enviormnement. Resourece wuil also dwinlde. Drinking water water will be the next world issue.

  2. I have come up withe cure-all for our world problems of starvation, disease and poverty.

    REDUCE THE BREEDING, stupid!!!

    World population is increasing by 75 MILLION more people per year. Third world nations will not solve their problems until they educate and reduce their high rate of breeding. In the USA alone we are increasing our numbers by 4 MILLION more per year.

    If you want to solve the problems of the world, provide free reproductive health services. Vasectomy and condoms would greatly help.
    Other wise we will continue on our slippery slope to doomsday.

    Our resources are also dwindling. Drinking water is 2% of all the water in the world. This is becoming a huge problem and no amount of conservation will help as long as our numbers are exploding exponentially.

    Problem solved. Start collection money and get to work.

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