Chinese eye shadow has been found to be tainted with both lead and microbiological contamination

WASHINGTON – In the wake of scandals involving tainted food and toothpaste from China comes word of a new concern from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the Food and Drug Administration – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead.

While lead poisoning among children was once mainly caused by old paint, U.S. manufacturers long ago banned the ingredient. Today, a new rash of high lead levels in the bloodstreams of American kids is being caused by foreign products – mainly from China.

So serious is the resurgence of lead poisoning among U.S. children that the Iowa Department of Public Health is working on writing a new law to require mandatory testing of those entering school for the first time.

Lead poisoning, once a concern mainly in dilapidated urban areas, can cause learning disabilities, kidney failure, anemia and irreversible brain damage in children.

Rita Gergely, chief of Iowa’s bureau of lead poisoning prevention, specifically cited concerns about children’s jewelry imported from China.

Because of lead contamination, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of several children’s items all imported from China:

High School Musical toys

Children’s metal jewelry was found to contain high levels of lead. About 103,000 multicolored necklaces, bracelets, earrings and charms imported by Tween Brands Inc. of New Albany, Ohio, were affected. Some of the jewelry have the words “High School Musical” printed on them or include pictures of the popular movie. Others have frogs, hearts, stars, dogs with dog bones, flowers, and monkeys that hang from silver, black or brown chains or cords. The jewelry was sold at Limited Too and Justice retail stores nationwide.

Toy drums coated with red paint were found to contain excessive levels of lead. About 4,500 of the Eli’s Small Drums and Liberty’s Large Drums were recalled. They were sold in gift and collectible stores nationwide and were imported by Boyds Collection Ltd in Pennsylvania.

About 3,000 action figure toys called “Invincibles Transport Converters” contain surface paints with high levels of lead. They were imported by the Army & Air Force Exchange Service of Dallas.

Children’s gardening gloves imported by MTD Products of Valley City, Ohio, were found to have a stamp-painted logo on the backside containing high levels of lead.

Children’s turquoise rings imported by Cardinal Distributing in Baltimore were found to have high lead levels. About 300,000 of the silver-colored rings were recalled.

About 200,000 children’s necklaces, bracelets and rings imported by Spandrel Sales and Marketing Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., were found to contain high lead levels. The recalled jewelry included pendants that hang from silver-colored bracelet and necklace chains, and silver-colored rings with a charm on top. Charm shapes include silver-colored crosses, suns, moons, stars, butterflies, cupids, angels, keys, elephants, hands, cell phones, fish and shoes. They were sold mostly in vending machines for 25 cents.

About 5,000 bamboo game sets called “Anima” were found to contain lead paint. The products were imported by and sold in Target stores nationwide.

About 132,000 children’s necklaces using a fish symbol, popular among Christians, were found to be contaminated with lead. They were imported by the Oriental Trading Company Inc., of Omaha, Neb.

Multi-colored and solid-colored sidewalk chalk packaged in a clear plastic backpack-type carrying case and imported by Toys R Us were also found to contain significant levels of lead. The label reads: “Chalk To Go … 24 pieces, sidewalk chalk in different colors, fun chalk shapes.”

All of these products were recalled in May, and they were the only products recalled by the CPSC for high lead levels.

Meanwhile, the FDA, which has been on high alert regarding China imports since the poison pet food scandal broke, warns about eye shadow imported from China. Called kohl, it is used to create black lines around the eyes. Not only has the makeup been found to contain high lead levels, eight brands of Chinese kohl were halted by the FDA because of “microbiological contamination.”

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found bacterial parasites in contact lens solution imported from China. At least 21 consumers were found to have developed eye conditions as a result of using Complete Moisture Plus.

As WND reported yesterday, the FDA issued consumer warnings to avoid using potentially deadly Chinese-made toothpaste, while the Chinese government continued to deny there was any danger from the contaminant diethylene glycol – a solvent used in antifreeze that killed 107 Americans when it was introduced in an elixir 70 years ago.

Though the FDA is not aware of any U.S. reports of poisonings from the toothpaste, 51 people died in Panama after using a cold medicine laced with DEG.

A slew of Chinese exports have recently been banned or turned away by U.S. inspectors including, wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine that has been blamed for dog and cat deaths in North America, monkfish that turned out to be toxic pufferfish, drug-laced frozen eel and juice made with unsafe color additives.

As WND reported earlier this week, China, the leading exporter of seafood to the U.S., is raising most of its fish products in water contaminated with raw sewage and compensating by using dangerous drugs and chemicals, many of which are banned by the FDA.

The stunning news followed WND’s report last week that FDA inspectors report tainted food imports from China are being rejected with increasing frequency because they are filthy, are contaminated with pesticides and tainted with carcinogens, bacteria and banned drugs.

China has consistently topped the list of countries whose products were refused by the FDA – and that list includes many countries, including Mexico and Canada, who export far more food products to the U.S. than China.

While less than half of Asia has access to sewage treatment plants, aquaculture – the raising of seafood products – has become big business on the continent, especially in China.

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