Retailers are being urged to put children ahead of profits and get rid of potentially toxic face paints.

Tests on 15 face paint products have found traces of lead in more than 90 per cent of them.

Alarming levels of the chemical forced the Carnival Colours brands off sale earlier this year.

Consumer NZ chief Sue Chetwin says retailers need to take responsibility for what they're selling.


She says children are most vulnerable to lead's health risks, and they're the prime market for face paint.

"The shops where we find these sorts of products, the sort-of $2 shops, are where kids shop.

"They're attracted to those like a magnet."

Chetwin says she wouldn't put it anywhere near her children's faces.

"If I was a parent I wouldn't let kids use these face paints. I would make them up at home.

"I wouldn't buy them off the shelf unless I was completely satisfied with the labelling."

- The Radio Network