Lead poisoning from a toy necklace

Jessica L. VanArsdale, Richard D. Leiker, Mel Kohn, T. Allen Merritt, B. Zane Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


A 4-year-old, previously healthy boy experienced intermittent abdominal pain for several weeks. He was diagnosed with probable gastroenteritis, but his symptoms worsened. Laboratory tests revealed normocytic anemia, and an abdominal radiograph showed a metallic foreign body in the stomach, without evidence of obstruction. Endoscopy resulted in the retrieval of a quarter and a medallion pendant from the stomach. A venous blood lead level measurement was extremely elevated, at 123 μg/dL (level of concern: ≥10 μg/dL). The medallion was tested by the state environmental quality laboratory and was found to contain 38.8% lead (388 000 mg/kg), 3.6% antimony, and 0.5% tin. Similar medallions purchased from toy vending machines were analyzed and were found to contain similarly high levels of lead. State health officials notified the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which resulted in a national voluntary recall of >1.4 million metal toy necklaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1096-1099
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


  • Lead
  • Lead foreign bodies
  • Lead poisoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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