Homeopathic "healing bracelet" poisoned child lead
The Healing Ball Bracelet with the
United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published an informational message that concerns the handmade homeopathic magnetic healing bracelet with hematite. A routine examination of a 9-month-old girl from the city of Manchester (Connecticut) revealed that she had normocytic anemia, a blood disorder that is characterized by a reduced level of hemoglobin and red blood cells, as well as a high level of blood lead of 41 µg / dl (microgram per deciliter) at normal no more than 5 µg / dl.
Experts conducted an epidemiological investigation to identify the source of lead. The girl was constantly in the house built in 1926. The experts found two windows in the room, with a peeling paint with lead content, but the health department decided that this paint could hardly become a source of poisoning, because the exfoliating areas were not available for a 9-month-old child. In addition, the three brothers and sisters aged 3-5 years old had a blood lead level of less than 3 µg / dl.
The investigation had to continue.
At one of the interviews, the parents mentioned that they periodically put the child on a “homeopathic magnetic healing bracelet with hematite”, which they bought from an artisan at a local fair. The girl was wearing a bracelet when her teeth were being cut, and sometimes her parents noticed that the child was chewing the bracelet.
The curative and magical properties of the hematite stone are described on hundreds of homeopathic sites. It says that this magic stone “has long been used for blood diseases, wounds, cuts, injuries and fractures. The main effect of hematite is on blood hemoglobin and contributes to a better absorption of oxygen by the tissues and enzyme systems of the body. ” Wearing a stone supposedly has a good effect on the composition of hemoglobin itself, “allows oxygen to form a bond with this important blood protein with less energy for the body and prolongs the life of red blood cells.” In addition, hematite supposedly stimulates the work of the red bone marrow, increasing the number and improving the quality of the formation of red blood cells. Ironically, a sick girl just discovered anemia - a decrease in the number of red blood cells
Experts immediately took the bracelet for examination. Small ball pads were found on it (see photo), which showed a positive result for lead (17,000 ppm, that is, 1.7% of the lead content).
The girl was poisoned precisely when she bit and chewed these metal balls. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention notes that traditionally the main sources of lead poisoning are paint containing lead, dust and polluted soil, but occasionally there are also unusual sources, as in this case. Previous cases of lead poisoning through children's amulets and jewelry were noted in 2003 and 2006. In those cases, the incidents ended with a large-scale recall of goods. In one of the cases, 150 million (!) Copies of imported toy ornaments (probably from China), which were sold through vending machines, were withdrawn.
In 2010, CDC set the maximum lead content in products that are manufactured and advertised for children at 100 ppm (Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008 ).
CDC employees could not find the master who made the bracelet, as well as determine the number of bracelets that he sold to the public.
Unfortunately, the problem of poor quality and handicraft production and belief in homeopathy are not peculiar to Americans. Even in Russia - the most reading country in the world - many people believe in this pseudoscience. It is especially dangerous when homemade amulets and talismans give children, because in this case, the harm to health can be especially great. Young children can even swallow a small product or bite it if teeth are cut. A 4-year-old boy from Minnesota, who in 2006 swallowed a metal heart-shaped talisman, had a lead level of 180 µg / dl in his blood. Unfortunately,he could not be saved : the boy died on the fourth day after hospitalization.
Doctors warn about the potential danger of children wearing any metal jewelry that may contain lead. They also remind that when a child has teeth erupted, it does not need medical attention or special metal decorations. CDC recommends a massage of the gums, cold erupting rings or tissues.