A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report describes a nine-month-old baby's experience with lead poisoning in September 2016. After a thorough investigation, the authorities concluded that the poisoning came from a homeopathic teething bracelet that the child's parents bought at a local fair.
Infant's Lead Poisoning
Last September, a routine testing of a female nine-month-old baby turned up surprising results when her blood displayed signs of normocytic anemia and lead levels of 41 μg/dL, easily exceeding the normal rate of 5 μg/dL.
Initially, because the child was being cared for in their home, which was built in 1926, investigators considered that perhaps she got the poisoning from two window wells with peeling lead-based paint. However, the hypothesis was shut down by the fact that the infant had no access to the window and that her other three siblings had normal blood lead levels.
Homeopathic Teething Bracelet
The child's parents then reported that she had been wearing a handmade magnetic homeopathic teething bracelet, which claimed to ease any pains and discomfort related to teething. They also noted that the child would chew on the bracelet at times.
Upon testing at Manchester Health Department, investigators found that the metallic spacer beads of the bracelet had high levels of lead at 17,000 parts per million (ppm). The acceptable amount of lead exposure for children is 90 up to 100 ppm.
According to the report, no logos or identifying marks were found on the bracelet, and neither were authorities able to track its manufacturers. The artisan market stall from which the bracelet was bought also had no records of the vendor.
There is no word on the condition of the baby.
Lead Poisoning Among Children
While authorities such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate safe levels of lead exposure for consumers, the CDC states that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.
Especially dangerous for children under six years old, lead poisoning affects nearly the entire body and may affect the child's mental and physical development. In severe cases, lead poisoning can be fatal. Symptoms of lead poisoning include vomiting, constipation, irritability, loss of appetite, hearing loss, weight loss, and seizures.
Apart from removing the source of poisoning from the vicinity of the patient, medications, which induce the removal of lead in the system via urine, may also be given to patients.