A nine-month-old baby in Connecticut had dangerously high levels of lead in her blood after chewing on a homeopathic “healing bracelet” used to ease teething pain, according to a report published [September 1] by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The baby’s condition came to light last September during a routine health screening. Healthcare workers found that the baby was anemic and had a blood lead level of 41 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL). While no level of lead is known to be safe, the CDC recommends health interventions when a child’s blood lead level reaches 5 μg/dL.
The authorities subsequently homed in on the bracelet, a homemade “homeopathic magnetic hematite healing bracelet.” The baby’s parents said they bought it from an artisan at a local fair and gave it to the baby to wear and mouth to ease teething pain.
Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body, the CDC warns. Lead is a neurotoxin and exposures at a young age can cause lowered IQ, inability to pay attention, and lifelong behavioral problems. This isn’t the first time that authorities have found harm to children from homeopathic remedies—alternative treatments based on the erroneous and dangerous belief that "like cures like."
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