A Sacramento woman went to the emergency room in July with numbness in herhands and feet, slurred speech and trouble walking.
The 47-year-old mother of five wasn't having a stroke or heart attack. Shewas suffering from mercury poisoning from a tainted anti-wrinkle cream importedfrom Mexico, KCRA-TV reported.
She has been in the hospital since then, according to her son, who toldKCRA he wished to remain unidentified. His mother, who also hasn't beenidentified, was initially able to respond to verbal commands before she enteredher semi-comatose state.
Olivia Kasirye, the public health officer for the Sacramento CountyDepartment of Health Services, told CBS Sacramento that the woman's creamcontained methylmercury, a very toxic type of mercury.<紐約時報中英文網 http://www.uydujn.live/>
This is the first time a methylmercury poisoning from face cream hasoccurred in the United States, the department said in a statement.
Kasirye is urging the public to immediately discontinue use of similar skincreams imported from Mexico because of how dangerous methylmercury is for adultsand children.
"We don't know whether this was an intentional change or whether there wasa mistake in the person who was adding the mercury," she said, telling thestation that there's an informal network of suppliers who bring the altered skincreams into the country.
The most common way that people are exposed to methylmercury is througheating fish and shellfish that contain the toxin, according to the EnvironmentalProtection Agency.
Skin exposure to methylmercury can affect the central and peripheralsystems, with symptoms including tremors, memory loss and cognitive and motordysfunction, according to the World Health Organization.
The average amount of mercury in blood is up to about 5 micrograms perliter as a result of mercury that is likely to be in someone's diet, accordingto the New York State Department of Health. The woman had 2,630 micrograms perliter in her blood, according to KCRA.