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Last Updated: February 20, 2019


Lead: Medicinal Ceremonial Sources 2

Images: used with permission from Palomitra Hore, NYC Health Dept

Big idea: Items used for medicinal, ceremonial or religious purposes can contain lead

Talking points:

  • Calabash chalk – goes by many other names; West African remedy for morning sickness
  • Litargirio – (Leet – ah – here – io) – Dominican Republic and other countries; used as antiperspirant, fungicide, burn treatment; 79% lead
  • Quin Dan – Qian Dan (orange baby powder)
    • Chinese remedy placed on child’s neck, under arms, buttocks; 75% lead
  • Daw Tway(package with baby) Daw Tway (from Thailand and Myanmar (Burma)) has contained lead levels as high as 970 ppm, 200 times above acceptable limits, and 7,100 ppm arsenic. Daw Tway is used as a digestive aid in young children. It comes as a brown pellet or powder and is applied to the tongue. Most of the product has been brought into the area by travelers returning from Southeast Asia or arrived via shipments from family and friends in that region.
  • Bo Ying – The powdered product is marketed in retail outlets and online for use in infants and children for treatment of a variety of conditions including influenza, fever, sneezing, and nasal discharge. The product is labeled in Chinese and English.

Palomitra Hore, NYC Health Dept
Sindoor Alert
Lead Poisoning Associated with Use of Litargirio
FDA Drug Safety: Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd.’s “Bo Ying compound”
CDC Sources of Lead: Folk Medicine
Arsenic and Lead Poisoning

Categories: Lead