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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Mar 31;55(12):340-1.

Death of a child after ingestion of a metallic charm--Minnesota, 2006.


Lead-based paint remains the most common source of lead exposure for children aged <6 years. However, one report determined that 34% of children aged <6 years with lead poisoning in Los Angeles County had been exposed to items containing lead that had been brought into the home. These items might include candy, folk and traditional medications, ceramic dinnerware, and metallic toys and trinkets. Exposures to some of these items can result in life-threatening BLLs of > or =100 microg/dL (elevated BLLs are > or =10 microg/dL for children and > or =25 microg/dL for adults). In 2004, a child in Oregon had a BLL of 123 microg/dL after ingesting a necklace with high lead content. The same year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 150 million pieces of imported metallic toy jewelry sold in vending machines. Some lead-contaminated items intended for use by children are manufactured in countries with limited government regulation of lead in consumer products. With the decline in BLLs in U.S. children, widespread education of the dangers of lead paint, and systematic reduction of lead hazards in U.S. housing, acute ingestion of lead-containing items has become increasingly more common as a source of life-threatening BLLs.

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