Is Your Halloween Costume Safe?

By Boonsri Dickinson | October 31, 2008 5:24 pm

regulation.jpgThis year, Disco thought we’d get into the spirit of Halloween and dress up in a space suit. So we went to a costume store and bought a silver unitard for the occasion. But when we took the suit out of the bag, it smelled like a new shower curtain. Earlier this year, a national environmental organization found that shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates and released volatile organic compounds it to the air (which are all chemicals that the Environmental Protection Agency has recognized as hazardous).

Which would explain why the smell made us feel nauseous. We checked the tag to see what the unitard was made out of: 100 percent polyester, made in China.

So is this costume safe to wear today?

Not really. Polyester burns at high temperatures, and when lit on fire, it can instantly melt the skin. Apparently most of the cheap polyester costumes sold come from China, where they use flammable items instead of the more expensive flame-retardant materials. If the costume doesn’t say “flame-retardant” on the package, then it’s not.

Related Content:
DISCOBLOG: Top Ten Halloween Costumes (Part I) and (Part II)

Credit: Adam Hadhazy

  • Ed

    I had heard about the issue with fire and polyester so I checked the costumes my son was trying on for halloween… some said “flame-retardant” on the bag, but this was nowhere to be found on the tags… I put those back. I checked the EPA link for info, but could not find any.


  • Halloween 2011

    This blog is an eye opener. I often used to ignore such indications but now I will make sure to keep a check.



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