By Luke Andrews Senior Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com

Published: | Updated:

A woman has died after using a hemorrhoid ointment laced with toxic metal.

The patient who lived in Sacramento, California, had purchased the treatment on Facebook, which was then mailed to the US from Vietnam.

But after using the cream she suffered from ‘severe lead poisoning’, officials said — which, in serious cases, can cause seizures, swelling in the brain and organ failure.

Tests revealed the product contained four percent lead — several thousand times above the safe limit.

It comes amid recalls for a range of products tainted with lead in the US, including applesauce pouches for babies, sippy cups and even warnings over dark chocolate.

Officials in Sacramento, California, have put out an alert over the above cream sold on Facebook, after a woman died following use of the product

Pictured above is the cream called Cao Boi Tri Cay Thau Dau, which the woman had used

Officials are urging people not to buy the treatment — called Cao Boi Tri Cay Thau Dau — and dispose of any of the product they have at home.

The case was revealed in an alert over the cream in Sacramento.

But other details, such as the woman’s name or when she was hospitalized, were not revealed.

Officials said the cream was sold in primarily Vietnamese language Facebook groups as a claimed ‘miracle’ treatment for hemorrhoids.

The woman had had a relative collect the cream before mailing it onward to the US, officials said. 

‘If you or someone you know uses this [product],’ officials said, ‘we strongly advise discontinuing its use immediately and consulting a healthcare provider for lead testing’.

Officials said the cream was sold in primarily Vietnamese language Facebook groups as a claimed ‘miracle’ treatment for hemorrhoids

The maximum safe level for lead in cosmetics is 10 parts per million (ppm), according to the FDA. But the cream was found to contain 39,000ppm of lead — equivalent to 3,900 times the safe limit.

The California Department of Public Health issued an alert over the ointment on April 10. 

At least 10million Americans suffer from hemorrhoids every year, or swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum that can cause discomfort and pain.

Doctors say they can be caused by straining during bowel movements, chronic constipation, obesity and even sitting for long periods.

There are several over-the-counter treatment options available in the US, including Anusol — which can cost $20 per tube.

Officials warn consumption of lead in any amount poses a risk to health.

This is because it is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and then travels around the body where it can wreak havoc on organs.

They said it can disrupt communication between nerves and the lining of the brain, causing a range of neurological issues including memory loss, muscle pain and severe headaches.

Lead can also bind to red blood cells and stop them carrying oxygen, which leaves sufferers at risk of organ failure.

Lead poisoning is particularly dangerous in children and pregnant, with it linked to a whole host of issues including delayed development in infants.

Sources of lead poisoning can include paint, drinking water if it has passed through lead-lined pipes and some cosmetics. 

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