Lead poisoning associated with ayurvedic medications--five states, 2000-2003

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Jul 9;53(26):582-4.


Although approximately 95% of lead poisoning among U.S. adults results from occupational exposure, lead poisoning also can occur from use of traditional or folk remedies. Ayurveda is a traditional form of medicine practiced in India and other South Asian countries. Ayurvedic medications can contain herbs, minerals, metals, or animal products and are made in standardized and nonstandardized formulations. During 2000-2003, a total of 12 cases of lead poisoning among adults in five states associated with ayurvedic medications or remedies were reported to CDC. This report summarizes these 12 cases. Culturally appropriate educational efforts are needed to inform persons in populations using traditional or folk medications of the potential health risks posed by these remedies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / epidemiology
  • Lead Poisoning / etiology*
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic*
  • Middle Aged
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Texas