Stories about: lead poisoning

High lead levels found in Indian spices & powders

Curry spicesby Cristiane Lin, MD

While lead paint is the most common cause of lead poisoning, about one-third of cases are associated with non-paint products like imported utensils, foods and medicinal remedies. Now, a new study points to another potentially dangerous carrier of lead: Indian spices and powders.

In a recent study published online in Pediatrics, the authors report four cases of children with lead poisoning due to imported Indian spices or cultural powders. Lead, which is a neurotoxin,  can cause permanent effects to children’s brain development. These children were treated at the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at Children’s. Blood lead levels in all cases improved after discontinuation of products.

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Children's research part of Shang Dynasty lead poisoning documentary

Alan Woolf, MD, MPH was part of a team that conducted experiments to find out if the vessels the Shang Dynasty drank from contributed to their early demise due to a combination of liquid and the materials the vessels were made from.

A documentary airing on the National Geographic channel tonight – Treasure Tomb of the Warrior Queen – explores just that.

Woolf took the time to answer this question for Thrive:

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Shopping for toys this holiday season? Here are some tips for buying safely

stockphotopro_74945GHV_no_titleLois Lee, MD, MPH works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

The holiday season brings to mind visions of children excitedly tearing into wrapping paper, eager to see if they got the present they wanted. Parents look on, sharing in the moment of joy. But to make sure this is truly a happy time for the whole family, it’s up to parents and other gift-givers to make sure the toys given are safe and age-appropriate. (Read Trouble in Toyland, the 24th annual survey of toy safety by MASSPIRG, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.)

Choking hazards from small parts, balls and balloons continue to be a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries.

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