NZ Children at Risk: China-Made Face Paint Contains High Levels of Lead; Child Abuse Cases Rising

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By Reissa Su | February 17, 2014 1:28 PM EST

A face paint kit made in China has been recalled after Consumer New Zealand tests revealed it has extremely high levels of lead. The face paint brand, Carnival Colors, was found to contain 15,200 mg of lead per kilogramme. The high levels of lead should not be allowed to use on face paints.

Since 2007, toys containing over 90mg of lead per kilogramme have been banned from the shelves.  According to Consumer NZ, young children are at risk from lead exposure which often results in development problems and other health issues.

Consumer NZ Chief Executive Sue Chetwin said the face paint kit from China had claimed the product "passed authentication" in line with European toy standards. However, the high levels of lead meant it should have never been released to the market.

The China-made paint kit contains green, red, blue and yellow paints. Consumer NZ discovered that the yellow paint contained high levels of lead. Wholesaler Apollogrip Importers Ltd distributed the products in stores in New Zealand.

Apollogrip issued a recall and informed its customers after Consumer NZ called about the test results. According to the consumer watchdog, customers who have bought the face paint by Carnival Colors are advised not to use the product.  If a child has already used the paint, Consumer NZ recommends consulting a doctor.  

The results of the test have been turned over to the Ministry of Health.

Child abuse cases increasing

A sharp rise in the number of newborn babies removed from parents in New Zealand has been observed since 2007 after the murder of 3-year-old toddler Nia Glassie in Rotorua.

According to the data released under the Official Information Act, the number of babies removed from their mothers have grown significantly and doubled in one year. The Child, Youth and Family agency was criticised for its failure to control consecutive child deaths related to abuse.

Over 140 newborns barely a month old are being taken away from their mothers every year. In January, Oriwa Kemp's newborn child was taken by Child, Youth and Family.  Ms Kemp has been charged in connection with the Nia Glassie's murder.

According to the agency, the sudden increase in the number of babies being taken was due to drug addiction among parents and improved cooperation with other agencies including the police department. 

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