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Foreign Products Which May Contain Lead

Did you know items imported from outside the U.S. could contain lead?

The most common source of lead exposure is from lead dust caused by chipping or peeling leadbased paint found in homes built before 1978. In some cases, lead can also be found in health remedies, supplements, and food or non-food items that come from other countries.

Lead is a poison that can cause serious illnesses when a child is exposed. Lead can result in medical, behavioral, and learning problems that can affect a child for life. Although children 6 years old and younger are at greatest risk for lead exposure, it can also be a problem for adults, those who are nursing and/or pregnant, and unborn children.

Home Remedies

Home remedies/medicines from the Middle East, Asia, India, Africa, and other countries used to treat illness may contain high levels of lead.

Examples include:

  • Azarcon or Greta-orange or yellow powder
  • Paylooah-red powder
  • Some Ayurvedic remedies

Jewelry, Charms, and Toys

Jewelry/charms/toys that come from other countries with metal parts or painted surfaces may contain high levels of lead. These items can be placed in a child’s mouth or swallowed.

Clay Pots and Dishes

Clay pots/dishes with glazes and paints from Mexico or other countries could con-tain lead. Lead can get into food and drinks if they are prepared or stored in these items.

Examples include:

  • Bean pots
  • Earthenware pottery

Cosmetics and Ceremonial Powders

Cosmetics/ceremonial powders from Africa, Asia, Middle East, or other countries may contain high levels of lead. These products are primarily used as eyeliner and religious powders.

Examples include:

  • Kajal
  • Surma
  • Sindoor
  • Kohl
  • Kumkum

Spices, Snacks, and Candies

Spices, snacks, or candies may contain lead. These items from Bangladesh, India, the Middle East, Mexico, and other countries have often been found to contain lead.

Examples include:

  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Tamarind pulp (used to make candies)