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Kmart Covers Up Lead Warning Labels On Halloween Masks

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posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 11:00 AM

Kmart Covers Up Lead Warning Labels On Halloween Masks

A St. Louis woman has a warning about certain Halloween masks. She said the company she worked for, Kmart, told her to hide the warnings about lead.

Cathy Warren said, "The store manager told me to take a black magic marker go over the warning and then put the black label over it and that's what I did." Warren worked as one of the department managers at the Kmart on Manchester. She said she was fired 2 weeks ago over a different issue.

NewsChannel 5 took a hidden camera into K-Mart. On the shelves, we found Halloween masks that had the black stickers. NewsChannel 5 bought some to see what the stickers were covering. When we peeled it off, it revealed the warning for the lead.

The store manager told NewsChannel 5 he didn't know why the lead warnings were covered up. But a corporate spokesperson said this is simply a mislabeling issue and the company is not trying to hide anything.

Chris Brathwaite is the spokesperson for Sears Holdings which is the parent company for Kmart. Brathwaite said the warnings are "not needed." Brathwaite said each product was tested by a certified lab and passed. When asked what passed meant, he said the products "do not have dangerous levels of lead." But he could not say whether the masks contain lead.

We showed the mask to Julie Weber with Missouri Regional Poison Center. Weber said children can get lead poisoning if they are repeatedly exposed to it over time. Weber said, "Just a one or two hour period should not pose a risk. But if they are daily playing with this, ingesting, chewing on it, that's where we come up with a risk for lead poisoning."

California is the only state to require warning labels if there is lead in a product.

Two points:

1) Why is California the only state to require warning labels if there is lead in a product? And,

2) If what happened above is true, I would consider it a criminal act. Are these people insane???

[edit on 22-10-2005 by loam]

posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 11:07 AM
Why in Sam Hill would there even be any lead in a mask? And I don't think California is the only place that lead would have to be identified, but I don't know for sure.

And I agree that there might be some charges around this if they have intentionally covered this up.

Holy Moly!

posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 12:38 PM

Originally posted by Valhall
Why in Sam Hill would there even be any lead in a mask?

It's probably in the paint.

Nice find Loam. K-mart probably knew that they would not sell as many masks with the warning on display and decided to conceal it to make sales.

Intentional Criminal Negligence and one more example of placing profit over people.

posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 12:45 PM
I agree, it's probably used in the paint.

This is a somewhat disturbing story. Why on earth would they mark over those labels? That's insane.

posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 12:46 PM
It's pretty awful to have such a contaniment ina child's toy...wat is there that we don't know about ?
To heck with the masks this year. I'm using make-up! But then, unless I live in California, who is to say there isn't lead in that as well?

posted on Oct, 22 2005 @ 05:38 PM
A Halloween mask can become a long-term toy for a child used way after the holiday is over - there is no guarantee that a mask made with lead would only be worn an hour or two.

If a "mislabeling" error occurred of this nature, i.e. health/safety issue, I would think that the products are not sellable packaged as such. Wouldn't they need to repackage in new material minus the lead warning? I can't imagine inaccurate safety information, as they alledge, would be okay by just placing a sticker over it to obscure the text.

posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 12:00 PM
The Kmart halloween mask "mislabeling" incident prompted one New York news station to purchase some masks, and have them tested independently at a lab:

Test results back on Halloween masks
NEWS 10NBC wanted to know just how much lead, so we had them tested at Paradigm Environmental Services, which specializes in hazardous materials. They broke each of the masks into pieces and tested them individually. The results showed the lead content is so low it is not even detectable.

The article states that a level less than .06% is considered "lead-free," but if they couldn't even detect any in the test, I wonder how little there must be in the masks? Maybe different batches have different levels, and therefore they must declare lead under California law.

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