J Trop Med Hyg. 1984 Apr; 87(2): 67-70.
Lead poisoning among children in Saudi Arabia.
Six Saudi children aged between 10 and 30 months were found to have lead poisoning. Two of them presented with encephalopathy. Twenty children with unexplained convulsions, some of whom died, were reported to have been admitted to the local district hospital recently. All our cases were diagnosed within 2 weeks of diagnosing the index case. The source of lead was found to be a locally used teething powder known as 'Saoott' and 'Cebagin'. This was prescribed by a traditional healer. The lead content of this powder was found to be 51%. Chemical analysis of other locally used eye cosmetics and teething medicines showed a lead content of up to 88%. The difficulties faced in diagnosis and managements of these cases in developing countries are discussed. The importance of prevention is stressed.