Warning after eyeliner pulled from shelves across Australia

Shoppers are being urged to stop using an eyeliner believed to contain lead which has seen three children in NSW become ill. 

Consumer Affairs Victoria inspectors have seized more than 7400 eyeliner products from nine stores after testing by NSW Health found the Hashmi Surma Special and Hashmi Kohl Aswad branded eyeliners had high levels of lead and other dangerous metals, including arsenic and mercury.

“There has been a reported case in NSW of three children experiencing elevated blood lead levels related to use of the eyeliner products and our inspectors have since found the same branded items in Victorian stores,” CAV director Simon Cohen said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Testing determined that Hashmi Surma Special contained 84 per cent lead content, with Hashmi Kohl Aswad containing 29.5 per cent lead content, CAV said.

There has been a recall of Hashmi Kohl Aswad (left) and Hashmi Surma Special (right) eyeliners due to the two products containing high levels of lead. Source: ACCC

The eyeliners were being sold across the country until July 31. They are also available online.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said exposure to the lead can result in short and or long-term poisoning. 

“Adults and children can be affected, but the symptoms are most severe in children and babies of women exposed while they were pregnant,” a statement from ACCC reads.

“Poisoning can occur after a single exposure.”

Symptoms of chronic lead poisoning include irritability, lack of energy, loss of appetite, learning disabilities, behavioural problems, poor coordination and impaired growth, the consumer watchdog said.

Anyone using the eyeliners has been asked to stop immediately and seek medical advice. It is also also recommended that they wash any of part of their body which had been exposed to it. 

The eyeliners can be returned for a full refund.

With AAP