Halloween costumes can hold hidden dangers

Now that Sandy has come and gone, ABC7 is on your side as trick or treating will be back on in many neighborhoods for Halloween Wednesday night.

But before you dress your children up, you should be aware of some potential hidden dangers.Following a mass seizure of Halloween costumes in Seattle for lead contamination, ABC7 bought 30 costumes at local stores and had them tested. The costumes were tested at Schneider labratories in Richmond, Va.

Ten of the costumes came back with lead hits, but most were within the legal limit.

A spider ring, which was purchased in Falls Church, was found to have 67 percent lead content, nearly 6,000 times the legal limit.

Fayez Abouzaki, the general manager of Schneider Laboratories, said, "We had to run it on three separate instruments just to confirm the result, because that's a substantial amount of lead."

"That's really upsetting that something for a child comes back with such a high lead limit. I'm definitely concerned," added, Pediatrician William Koston. "Severe lead poisoning is associated with seizures and permanent neurological damage. It is a big issue..."

Something else to keep your eye on this Halloween are decorative contact lenses. The FDA says they are potentially harmful, and it's illegal to sell them without a prescription.

FDA Special Agent Dennis Mynatt explained, "Without the consult of professional, they can cause damage to ones eye to include blindness"

But some Halloween stores still sell them, including Economy Party Supplies and Costumes in Falls Church.

"We stock them without prescription, but we can order them with prescription," Store Owner Diane Lake said.

Lake later said she didn't know they were illegal to sell. She added each pair of lenses does come with a written warning.

Federal officials say its ultimately up to the retailer to make sure products are safe and have the required third party laboratory testing before a product can be sold. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says it is taking our finding very seriously and is actively looking into it.