September 29, 2014 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against using “Bo Ying Compound” manufactured by Eu Yan Sang (Hong Kong) Ltd. because it could cause lead poisoning.
The supplement is marketed for use in infants and children with the flu, fever, sneezing, and nasal discharge. It contains a powdered mixture of 16 herbs, and apparently heavy metals. The box is labeled in Chinese and English.
Health officials discovered the problem after an 18 month-old child was diagnosed with lead intoxication. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tested Bo Ying Compound and it was “found to contain high levels of lead.”
According to Forbes, Eu Yan Sang is headquartered in Singapore and reported nearly $300 million in sales last year. A company spokeswoman said they do not import “Bo Ying Compound” to the United States and they are investigating whether a look-alike product was mistakenly attributed to the company.
No recall has been issued by the FDA or Eu Yan Sang.
Children are especially vulnerable to toxic lead exposure because their brain is still developing. According to the FDA:
“Exposure to lead can cause serious damage to the central nervous system, the kidneys, and the immune system. In children, chronic exposure to lead, even at low levels, is associated with impaired cognitive function, including reduced IQ, behavioral difficulties, and other problems.”
Lead is a very strong poison. When it is ingested, small amounts can stay in the body and cause health problems. Even a single high dose of lead can cause emergency symptoms. These symptoms may include abdominal pain, aggressive behavior, anemia, constipation, difficulty sleeping, headaches, loss of developmental skills, low appetite and energy, and reduced sensation.
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