Sacramento Woman’s Death Attributed to Lead-infused Hemorrhoid Cream, Say Health Officials

Sacramento Woman’s Death Attributed to Lead-infused Hemorrhoid Cream, Say Health Officials

According to California health officials, a Sacramento woman died in March from “severe” lead exposure after using a hemorrhoid ointment.

The California Department of Public Health tested a sample of the ointment, labeled “Cao Boi Tri Cay Thau Dau,” and discovered that it contained 4% lead, which is considered a “dangerous amount,” according to Sacramento County health officials.

The woman purchased the ointment on Facebook and had it mailed to her by a relative in Vietnam. No other information about the woman was available.

Officials advised anyone who purchased the ointment to stop using it, visit a doctor, and have their blood tested for lead. Household members, particularly children, should also undergo testing.

Exposure to lead, particularly at low levels, may not always result in symptoms. Adults who have lead poisoning may have headaches, abdominal pain, personality changes, and problems sleeping, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Children may have these symptoms, as well as cramping, hyperactivity, vomiting, exhaustion, and learning difficulties.

“Lead poisoning can affect anyone, but babies and children under the age of six are especially vulnerable because their bodies are still developing,” Cleveland Clinic stated on its website. “Because their bodies are still growing, their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the harmful effects of lead.”

Lead exposure in adults can result in impaired kidney function and elevated blood pressure, according to the National Institute of Environmental Sciences. Adverse consequences in youngsters may include lower academic success, delayed puberty, and hearing and speech issues.

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