A sham “homeopathic” “teething” bracelet is being blamed for the lead poisoning of a Connecticut infant after routine tests done at a scheduled check-up found blood lead levels 8 times higher than the level that would ordinarily concern doctors.
It turns out that the child had been given a hematite “teething” bracelet that her parents purchased at a local fair. It was sold as “homeopathic”, “magnetic” and “healing” and the baby was, according to her parents, allowed to chew on it. But tests on some of the beads came back positive for 17,000 parts per million of lead.
So far, no one has been held criminally responsible for the poisoning. Fair organizers reportedly cannot produce vendor records and investigators say that there are no identifying marks or stamps on the bracelet, which you can see here:
This is not the first case of a child being injured by jewelry marketed for use by infants and young children. In 2003 a nationwide recall of jewelry sold through toy vending machines was prompted by the lead poisoning of a child. And in 2006 a child from Minnesota actually died from lead poisoning after swallowing a bead that was later found to contain lead.
Aside from the obvious choking hazard that infant and toddler jewelry poses, this case should also serve, say experts at the Centers for Disease Control, as a reminder of the potential dangers of giving children jewelry to play with or chew on.
There was no information provided about the health of the child who was poisoned in this incident.