Got a tube of eyeliner in your dance mum kit?
It might be time to check the packaging.
Three children in NSW are very sick with lead poisoning after using Hashmi brand eyeliner products. New South Wales’ Regulation Minister Matt Kean says doctors have tested the children, all from the same family. He says the tests found high levels of lead in their blood.
“An investigation indicated the health concerns were likely to have been caused by one of the Hashmi brand eyeliners,” says Mr Kean.
“I’m absolutely appalled by this as we know that the use of cosmetics containing lead can have long-term health effects, including brain and kidney damage, in both adults and children.”
Mum Central understands the children may have used the eyeliner as part of their cultural tradition, but cheap eyeliners and cosmetics are also a staple for parents kitting their kids for dress-ups or dance performances.
Poisonous eyeliner alert
Testing has found that the eye makeup products contain up to 84% lead along with high levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium and mercury. This is especially concerning as the packaging of the products specifically states that they do not contain lead.
Mr Kean says this is a “total disgrace”. The NSW government has issued a public health alert over the Pakistan-made products and are urging people to stop using them.
The cheap eyeliners are sold in Indian and Pakistani stores. Shop owners are now removing the products from shelves. Professional make-up artist Fareha Ahmad specialises in Indian style makeup and is very familiar with the eyeliner.
“Smaller salons or the everyday household people would use this Khol in their eyes, because they think it lasts longer and it does the same thing as the higher (price brands). Like, why would they pay, say, $30 versus 30 cents? Yeah, so they prefer the cheaper brand.”: Fareha Ahmad
It’s not the first time Hashmi brand eyeliners have hit the headlines. The products are already banned in the US.
Australian Border Force is now investigating. There are checks to make sure no other dangerous cosmetics are in the country.
Parents should dispose of the dangerous eyeliner immediately. Anyone who has used the product on their children should go straight to a doctor if they are worried.