Friday, October 19, 2012


If you live in the Seattle area and were considering dressing up as a pirate for Halloween, you may find a minor shortage of costumes.

According to this online article from television station WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia, customs officials have confiscated more than a thousand Chinese-made pirate costumes which contained more than 11 times the permissible amount of lead in their buttons and trim. The contaminated costumes looked like this ...

and were to have been sold in Washington state.

This issue raises some interesting questions:

1. Who decides how much lead a pirate costume can contain?

2. How does one measure the amount of lead in a pirate costume? By dressing someone up as a pirate, throwing him overboard, and seeing how long it takes him to sink?

3. If you're going to contaminate a pirate costume with a heavy metal, shouldn't it be gold?

Of course, if you are a man and purchased one of these contaminated costumes for Halloween, you probably have a bigger problem than lead contamination.

Perhaps the danger of lead-contaminated costumes could be mitigated by providing enough food at Halloween parties that guests would not feel compelled to eat their outfits.

Be careful out there when choosing your Halloween costume ... China appears to play trick or treat for keeps.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Duckbutt said...

Someone has to plumbum the depths to find out that information! Curious questions, indeed. Perhaps, in the heyday of piracy, loser pirates wound up with excessive amounts of lead in their costumes due to pistol bullets?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Hmmm....a pink-and-black pirate? Has Paris Hilton become a freebooter?

John said...

At least you'll be safe from x-rays.

Amanda said...

Must be some modern pirates scheme to steal the pirate costume market.

Mike said...

I someone were wearing this while trick or treating and moving slowly, and someone hollers 'GET THE LEAD OUT!' They could start discarding buttons.