Watched NightLine Friday night with Mrs. WhiteCoat and there was an eye-opening story on how many of the trinkets you find at the “Dollar Store” have dangerously high levels of lead in them. Tea sets, dolls, bracelets, hair clips, and plastic toys all had significantly elevated levels of lead.
Lead poisoning can cause many vague symptoms such as “neurological problems, such as reduced cognitive abilities, or nausea, abdominal pain, irritability, insomnia, metal taste in the mouth, excess lethargy or hyperactivity, chest pain, headache and, in extreme cases, seizures, comas, and death. There are also associated gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, which are common in acute poisoning. Other associated effects are anemia, kidney problems, and reproductive problems.”
One young boy died – presumably from lead poisoning – after swallowing a pendant from a Reebok shoe that was more than 99% lead.
Something to keep in mind for those kids with microcytic anemia in the ED.
Also something to keep in mind before putting those little trinkets in the Christmas stockings.
Video clip is here. Grab a cup of coffee and watch it.