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posted by martyb on Monday September 04 2017, @03:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the no-choking-hazzard-here,-either dept.

Ars Technica is reporting on a story where the CDC report that a Homeopathic “healing bracelet” caused lead poisoning in a infant girl

[...] 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. Small spacer beads on the bracelet (shown) tested positive for lead at a level of 17,000 parts-per-million. The Consumer Product Commission in 2010 set the allowable limit of lead in products intended for children at 100 parts-per-million.

The authors of the report—Drs. Patricia Garcia and Jennifer Haile, lead treatment specialists at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center—noted that the bracelet had no warnings or branding. They added that they couldn’t get the fair’s vendor information and were unable to track down the bracelet’s maker.

Also at Live Science


Original Submission

Related Stories

FDA to More Strictly Regulate Homeopathic Drugs 47 comments

The FDA is proposing a new, risk-based enforcement approach to homeopathic drug products (alternative medicine):

To protect consumers who choose to use homeopathic products, this proposed new approach would update the FDA's existing policy to better address situations where homeopathic treatments are being marketed for serious diseases and/or conditions but where the products have not been shown to offer clinical benefits. It also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet current good manufacturing practices.

Under the law, homeopathic drug products are subject to the same requirements related to approval, adulteration and misbranding as any other drug product. However, prescription and nonprescription drug products labeled as homeopathic have been manufactured and distributed without FDA approval under the agency's enforcement policies since 1988.

"In recent years, we've seen a large uptick in products labeled as homeopathic that are being marketed for a wide array of diseases and conditions, from the common cold to cancer. In many cases, people may be placing their trust and money in therapies that may bring little to no benefit in combating serious ailments, or worse – that may cause significant and even irreparable harm because the products are poorly manufactured, or contain active ingredients that aren't adequately tested or disclosed to patients," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. "Our approach to regulating homeopathic drugs must evolve to reflect the current complexity of the market, by taking a more risk-based approach to enforcement. We respect that some individuals want to use alternative treatments, but the FDA has a responsibility to protect the public from products that may not deliver any benefit and have the potential to cause harm."

FDA draft guidance (8 pages).

Also at Ars Technica and STAT News.

Related: Probiotics Come with Bold Health Claims, but the Science is Shaky
What a Gottlieb-Led FDA Might Mean for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Supplement Maker on FDA Blacklist After Deadly Bacteria Found in Water System
FDA Designates MDMA as a "Breakthrough Therapy" for PTSD; Approves Phase 3 Trials
Homeopathic "Healing Bracelet" Poisons Baby With High Levels of Lead
FDA: Love is Not an Ingredient
FDA Cracking Down on Unsubstantiated Cannabidiol Health Claims
FDA Blocks More Imports of Kratom, Warns Against Use as a Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal
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Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:25AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:25AM (#563277)

    Sounds like the free market at work. The couple can always have another baby since the current one is now defective.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday September 04 2017, @04:13AM

      by c0lo (156) on Monday September 04 2017, @04:13AM (#563285) Journal

      The couple can always have another baby since the current one is now defective.

      Defective? Whaddya mean?
      On the contrary, she's on the first steps of Mithridatism; start them young today, they'll have a job in the chem/pharma industry tomorrow. Do you think the Chinese and Indians will work at these wages forever?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday September 04 2017, @11:39PM (1 child)

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday September 04 2017, @11:39PM (#563601) Journal

      This is an example of the problematic nature of the most extreme libertarians -- that private lawsuits can take the place of effective regulation. Sadly, it appears here that no lawsuit is possible (gotta find the seller and even if you do, how much do you want to bet she's too poor to cover anything but a couple hospital aspirin) AND there was no effective regulation. This result would be repeated many times under under the most extreme type of libertarian philosophy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @11:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @11:41AM (#564114)

        Also a problem of having all these so-called experts running around testing things and declaring them unsafe. Phooey, I say.

        Cut their funding NOW!

        It's up to the bracelet industry what they put in their bracelets and up to us what we can and can't eat.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Monday September 04 2017, @04:24AM (3 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Monday September 04 2017, @04:24AM (#563287)

    If it was really a homeopathic product, it would have zero active substance in it and wouldn't do any damn thing.
    Clearly the product is a sham: I would ask a refund!

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Pslytely Psycho on Monday September 04 2017, @04:55AM

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Monday September 04 2017, @04:55AM (#563293)

      Now really Rosco, y'all knows Boss Hogg is the one sellin' 'em.
      He was really a'hopin' Uncle Jesse would buy 'em and give 'em to them pesky Duke boys.
      But since this unfo'tunut event, he's a-gonna wan' you to find a way to pin it on them, so git yo' butt down there an' plant some brace-a-lets in that there General Lee!
      Now GIT!

      --
      Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @07:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @07:00AM (#563326)

      Who said the lead is the homeopathic part. It's clearly the magnetic hematite stones that should do the healing.

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Monday September 04 2017, @09:29AM

      by davester666 (155) on Monday September 04 2017, @09:29AM (#563375)

      Totally. Big Pharma needs to get their investigators involved, to track down the seller and manufacturer, to sue them for making a really potent, deadly ingested medication. That's Big Pharma's job!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by coolgopher on Monday September 04 2017, @04:29AM (14 children)

    by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @04:29AM (#563288)

    Isn't this one of those cases where the greater good for the species would be *not* to intervene?

    (Yes, this is a callous and mean comment)

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:39AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:39AM (#563290)

      > (Yes, this is a callous and mean comment)

      No need for you to chime in, khallow will be here soon enough to cover this aspect of the discussion.

      • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @07:46AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @07:46AM (#563335)

        Leave khallow alone! He would never suggest that poisoning children is a good thing, unless it lead to the profits of the superior race that had inherited superior libertarian like genes. Cause, you know, intelligence is inherited. But what khallow forgot, is that sometimes it skips a generation. Especially a millenial generation that suddenly things that Nazism and White Supremacy, and D'nesh D'Souza D'aesh are all cool things. I see khallow taking a big flip, from rightwing nut-job American to ISIS radicalized Muslim. Not much of a change. He could do it. But he would have to give up on the whole poisoning children thing, then, khallow would.

        Poor khallow! I hope he can find a friend.

        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by aristarchus on Monday September 04 2017, @09:27AM (1 child)

          by aristarchus (2645) on Monday September 04 2017, @09:27AM (#563374) Journal

          Judging from the serial flamebait mods, khallow will not be chiming in? Oh, how I miss khallow! We used to talk about renting out backhoes, capital intensification and the immiserization of the proletariat, but then for some reason he just seemed to no want to discuss thing so much any more. Maybe he did find homeopathic bliss, in the hotpots of the Firehole River. Or, he actually went back to school? Nah.

          • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:27PM (#563515)

            Help me Obi Wan Khallow. You're my only hope!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @10:57AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @10:57AM (#563405)

          unless it lead to the profits of the ...

          But... but... it did lead! Specifically, TFS says it lead at a level of 17,000 parts-per-million. That's 1.7%.

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Monday September 04 2017, @04:41AM (3 children)

      by Mykl (1112) on Monday September 04 2017, @04:41AM (#563291)

      Sort of Darwinism-by-proxy?

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:06AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:06AM (#563296)

        fortune: It's hard to think of you as the end result of millions of years of evolution.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday September 04 2017, @12:12PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @12:12PM (#563423) Journal

          Evolution has no end result. Either you have offspring, then you are only an intermediate step, and your offspring is the next. Or you don't have offspring, then you are an evolutionary dead end.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by Fluffeh on Monday September 04 2017, @10:03PM

        by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @10:03PM (#563590) Journal

        Sort of Darwinism-by-proxy?

        Sort of Darwinism chasing down a missed lead. Clearly the parent's managed to pass their genes on, but nature has found a way to remove them.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday September 04 2017, @05:14AM (4 children)

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday September 04 2017, @05:14AM (#563298) Homepage

      I disagree in principle because the parents imposed that bracelet upon their kid.

      Just because the parents are dumb doesn't mean that the kid will be as dumb as they are. Especially since information is so readily available nowadays.

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by takyon on Monday September 04 2017, @05:23AM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday September 04 2017, @05:23AM (#563299) Journal

        Especially since information is so readily available nowadays.

        Here's some info for ya:

        https://www.energymuse.com/bracelets [energymuse.com]
        https://avscientificsupportarsenal.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/vaccines-do-cause-autism-undeniable-scientific-proof/ [wordpress.com]
        http://timecube.2enp.com/ [2enp.com]

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday September 04 2017, @10:31PM (1 child)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday September 04 2017, @10:31PM (#563596)

          Thank you for the link to the Time Cube, it's been years since I've read it, and it's as fresh as ever.

          Also, the healing bracelets will no doubt help me capture pure energy...

          Oh, no, they're for women only!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @11:30PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @11:30PM (#563600)

            Belly-Button Is the Signature

            Of Your Personal Creator -

            I Believe Her Name Mama.

            Pastor Told His Flock That

            God Created All Of Them -

                  Truth Was That They All had

            Mama Made Belly Buttons,

            Church Was Full Of Liars.

            This is legit info, so I don't know what to think.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by driverless on Monday September 04 2017, @12:07PM

        by driverless (4770) on Monday September 04 2017, @12:07PM (#563421)

        I disagree in principle because the parents imposed that bracelet upon their kid.

        Just because the parents are dumb doesn't mean that the kid will be as dumb as they are

        Given that the kid is now suffering from serious lead poisoning, I'm guessing he'll end up even worse than his parents.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bradley13 on Monday September 04 2017, @05:52AM (3 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @05:52AM (#563302) Homepage Journal

    Good god, what links. Ya gotta love this:

    "These are more than just bracelets, they are bracelets with meaning and will transform your life by manifesting miracles." Selling snake oil [wikipedia.org] is a long and venerable tradition.

    In this specific case, likely the jeweler had read some book about crystals, soldered a bunch of them together, and voila - a healing bracelet. Idiot used cheap materials, though, including lead solder, because (goes along with the crystal thing) they don't actually have a clue what they're doing. I can imagine the surprise: "What, solder contains lead?!"

    According to TFA, they haven't been able to find the idiot jeweler. I sure hope they do, if only to prevent her selling any more lead-laced teething bracelets.

    That said, this isn't homeopathy. For homeopathy, I have mixed feelings. Sure, it's bullshit, but the placebo effect is very real. So homeopathy does work, in a sense. On the other hand, practicioners apply their "science" in cases where scientific medicine is really what's needed. [hpathy.com] No, homeopathy can't fix physical injuries, and at this point the practicioners should be prosecuted as the frauds they are.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @09:13AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @09:13AM (#563368)

      For homeopathy, I have mixed feelings.

      Obviously, bradley11, you just need to put a drop of your feelings into about five gallons of distilled feelings, and you would feel much stronger about homopathy! That is, after all, how it works. You start with stupid, dilute the stupid to make you more stupid, and, Profit? Are you a complete moron, or just not yet? Mixed feelings? How do you feel about burning witches? Or Donald Trump?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @09:15AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @09:15AM (#564089)

        All you had to do was read one more sentence...

    • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday September 04 2017, @02:28PM

      by meustrus (4961) on Monday September 04 2017, @02:28PM (#563461)

      Did you rtfa? That bracelet doesn't look like if involved any soldering. The lead was in innocuous looking spacer beads probably purchased from a craft store.

      As for homeopathy...well, my favorite "homeopathic" product is Zicam. Its active ingredient is Zinc, which preliminary research suggests really shortens or avoids cold infections. It is labeled as 1x or 2x, meaning diluted that many times. As a homeopathic product it shouldn't work at all; zinc doesn't cause ailments and it is not nearly diluted enough. But as a modern medical product it is a great way to get it on shelves without doing all the expensive follow up research that would be required.

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:54AM (#563304)

    Finally we have proof that homepathy works!

  • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:15AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:15AM (#563313)

    Homeopathy is about diluting something in a certain way so you supposedly take microdoses or get some benefit from the solvent previously containing an active compound. It doesn't seem possible for a bracelet to have anything to do with this? Is any quack thing being labeled homeopathy now?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:35AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:35AM (#563319)

      If its advertised on TV, its quack. So far, I have seen no exceptions to this postulate.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by MostCynical on Monday September 04 2017, @08:02AM (1 child)

        by MostCynical (2589) on Monday September 04 2017, @08:02AM (#563344) Journal

        I saw an ad for a politician.

        Looks like you may be right.

        --
        "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday September 04 2017, @01:33PM

          by Wootery (2341) on Monday September 04 2017, @01:33PM (#563445)

          Karl Popper wants a word.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:01AM (#563343)

      The bracelet contains trace amounts of homeopathy.

    • (Score: 2) by wisnoskij on Monday September 04 2017, @11:55AM

      by wisnoskij (5149) <jonathonwisnoskiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday September 04 2017, @11:55AM (#563420)

      They threw a bracelet into the sea, then scooped out a cup of water. They must of miscalculated and diluted the bracelet too far, giving the kid a super potent dose of bracelet, overdosing on the homeopathy.

    • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Monday September 04 2017, @01:22PM (3 children)

      by Wootery (2341) on Monday September 04 2017, @01:22PM (#563441)

      It doesn't seem possible for a bracelet to have anything to do with this?

      So not only have you failed to read TFA, you've failed to read the preceding comments in the thread.

      The lead was from negligence, not from homeopathic 'ingredients'. The moron that made the bracelet had no idea that their solder contained lead.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:49PM (#563465)

        So if I read TFA it will explain how the active ingredient in a bracelet was diluted?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:58PM (#563467)

        I read both TFAs and even searched for "homeopathic bracelet", there is no explanation anywhere about what a bracelet could have to do with homeopathy.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:02AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:02AM (#563688)

        The lead was in beads, not in solder. Tin-lead solder is 37% lead, or 370,000 ppm.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:55AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:55AM (#563322)

    Looking at that bracelet as a parent, that thing screams "Choking Hazard" all over the place.

    Sure, lead poisoning isn't something to be happy about, but these things shouldn't even be
    sold as a product for a child below the age of 4.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by starcraftsicko on Monday September 04 2017, @11:54AM

      by starcraftsicko (2821) on Monday September 04 2017, @11:54AM (#563419) Journal

      I doubt that this was sold as a teething bracelet or for children at all. This looks like the work product of a home "crafter" of fashion "accessories". Check your local hobby lobby or michaels to find more lead...

      --
      This post was created with recycled electrons.
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:57AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @06:57AM (#563323)

    This is yet another example of those librul freaks destroying the free market!

    Setting acceptable levels of lead exposure for children? Where will it end? I'll tell you where! The evil left is going to take all your children and place them in "re-education" camps [disclose.tv] set up by the Obama administration!

    What's even worse is that once our kids are stolen from us, they will be forcibly converted to Islam and sent on suicide missions for the greater glory of Allah!

    We need to fight to protect our great Christian nation from these librul tools of the muslims! Do the world a favor and kill a muslim today! Sometimes it's hard to tell who is a muslim, so kill any darkies you see! It's no great loss!

    Also, I know I have a problem with overuse of exclamation points!!!

    #MAGA!

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by maxwell demon on Monday September 04 2017, @12:24PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @12:24PM (#563427) Journal

      Also, I know I have a problem with overuse of exclamation points!!!

      Note that exclamation marks are clearly on-topic in this story: They work best if used in homeopathic doses. Also, historically, exclamation marks were printed using lead. Although I don't think there was ever a case of lead poisoning due to excessive use of exclamation marks. ;-)

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by meustrus on Monday September 04 2017, @02:21PM

    by meustrus (4961) on Monday September 04 2017, @02:21PM (#563460)

    Take a look at the bracelet. A picture is in TFA. It looks like it's made from beads ive seem at the craft store. There's nothing magical, mystical, or medical about the materials or construction. It's pretty though.

    And rather than going on about homeopathy (the designated whipping boy of alternative medicines), we should find out where those beads were sold and why they were allowed to have so much lead. If it goes into craft jewelry it needs to be subject to the same product standards as finished items.

    --
    If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:36PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:36PM (#563472)

    Homeopathy, like vee-guh-nizm, could only be developed by a mind warped by pseudo-teen-angst of the white middle class of the 90s.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:05AM (#563689)

      Yes, it's from the 1790s: "Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like..." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:51PM (#563570)

    It seems a bit redundant to poison a baby that already has high levels of lead.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Appalbarry on Monday September 04 2017, @09:55PM (1 child)

    by Appalbarry (66) on Monday September 04 2017, @09:55PM (#563586) Journal

    My immediate thought was that the jewellery was probably imported from China, India, or another country fortunate enough not to suffer under the oppressive yoke of government over-regulation

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