The New South Wales state government has issued a public health alert over Pakistan-made Hashmi brand products which are suspected to have caused three children in Australia to fall ill with lead poisoning.
Lead was discovered by doctors in the blood of the three children, all of whom are from the same family. Matt Kean, the state minister overseeing regulation said, “An investigation indicated the health concerns were likely to have been caused by one of the Hashmi brand eyeliners.”
The kohl eyeliners were found to contain 84 percent lead as well as high levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium and mercury, reports the BBC.
Exposure to these dangerous metals can lead to mental and physical impairment, especially in young children.
According to authorities, the Hashmi Kohl Aswad and Hashmi Surmi Special cosmetics were legally imported and sold in Indian and Pakistani stores in Sydney.
“Some of the product packaging even specifically states that no lead is present, which is a total disgrace,” said Kean.
The Hashmi cosmetics are banned for sale in the United States, and Australia has issued a warning to its citizens to stop using the products and seek urgent medical advice from doctors.
The matter has been referred to the Australian Border Force who will be carrying out further investigations.
Authorities have said that companies that do not comply with mandatory health standards under Australian Consumer Law can face fines of up to AUD $1.1 million.