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Lead poisoning associated with ayurvedic medications - five states, 2000-2003.
Araujo J; Beelen AP; Lewis LD; Robinson GG; DeLaurier C; Carbajal M; Ericsson B; Chin Y; Hipkins K; Kales SN; Saper RB; Nordness R; Rabin R; Jeffery N; Cone J; Ramaswamy C; Curry-Johnson P; Gelberg KH; Salzman D; Paquin J; Homa DM; Roscoe RJ
MMWR 2004 Jul; 53(26):582-584
Although approximately 95% of lead poisoning among U.S. adults results from occupational exposure (1), lead poisoning also can occur from use of traditional or folk remedies (2--5). Ayurveda is a traditional form of medicine practiced in India and other South Asian countries. Ayurvedic medications can contain herbs, minerals, metals, or animal products and are made in standardized and nonstandardized formulations (2). During 2000--2003, a total of 12 cases of lead poisoning among adults in five states associated with ayurvedic medications or remedies were reported to CDC (Table). This report summarizes these 12 cases. Culturally appropriate educational efforts are needed to inform persons in populations using traditional or folk medications of the potential health risks posed by these remedies. The first three cases described in this report were reported to CDC by staff at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire; the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program; and the California Department of Health Services. To ascertain whether other lead poisoning cases associated with ayurvedic medicines had occurred, an alert was posted on the Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X), and findings from the cases in California were posted on the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) listserv. Nine additional cases were reported by state health departments in Massachusetts, New York, and Texas (Table).
Lead-compounds; Lead-poisoning; Medicinal-chemicals; Blood-sampling; Metals; Minerals; Surveillance-programs; Medical-treatment; Chelating-agents; Region-1; Region-2; Region-6; Region-9; Racial-factors; Education; Lead-absorption; Exposure-levels
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
CA; MA; NH; NY; OH; TX
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division