'Princess' lip gloss leads to lead poisoning

6-year-old contracts lead poisoning from children's lip gloss

WASHINGTON - Lead poisoning, which is most common in kids under age 6, can have serious health consequences - from learning disabilities to death.   Kids are typically exposed to high lead levels if they live in an older home with lead based paint, or suck on toys with lead paint.

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Brooklyn Schneiderman is celebrating her sixth birthday. While she's a happy, healthy little girl now -- a routine screening a few months ago showed her lead levels at nearly double the acceptable amount.  That left her parents searching for a cause. 

Brooklyn's mom said, "They reminded us to look at what her favorite toy was, or what she played with the most. So that was easy then. It was lip gloss. She'd sit in front of her mirror for long periods of time and apply lip gloss." 

The sparkly, pink glosses look like a perfect play item for a little girl. 

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But when mom Jennifer took a closer look, she found a label with words like "caution" and "keep out of children's reach". It was puzzling since they're clearly targeted at little girls. 

"They have princesses on them. So I don't know what adults would be interested in these products." 

After taking away Brooklyn's lip gloss - and nothing else - her lead levels dropped to barely traceable. 

Luckily Brooklyn didn't have any health problems, and doctor kelly schmidt knows it's because her lead spike was caught early. But he says it's a reminder for families to keep a close eye on everything that's in your home that could lead to lead exposure.  

Dr. Kelly Schmidt said, "With children, it's the dust in the home, the dust from the paint chips, the soil that could be out in your yard. It could be a problem with toys, like Brooklyn getting into some lip gloss that had lead in it when her parents got to looking. It's just little things you don't think about." 

Lead poisoning is most common in children, but can happen in adults.

Removing the source of lead - sometimes through costly home lead abatement - usually helps bring the body's lead levels into the acceptable range. 

If not, Chelation therapy medicines might also be used.



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