A 6-month-old boy was treated for lead poisoning due to the use of the cosmetic known as “tiro,” which is used as a folk remedy for promoting visual development, according to a report of the boy’s case released today.
An investigation revealed the source of lead to be tiro, a powdery Nigerian cosmetic that had been applied to the infant’s eyelids.
The powder was 82.6 percent lead, the report said.
Tiro is also called “tozali” and “kwalli,” and similar products called “surma” and “kajal” in Asia, and “kohl” in the Middle East, may also contain lead, the report said.
The powder has many uses as a folk remedy, the report said, including relieving eyestrain or pain, and preventing infections in a baby’s umbilical cord stump or circumcision wound.
The case shows that certain groups of immigrants may be at higher risk of lead poisoning, the report said. “Educational efforts are needed to inform immigrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East that tiro and similar products can cause lead poisoning in children,” the researchers wrote in their report.
Tip: @DavidBloomberg via Twitter
These stories are coming out with alarming frequency. Unregulated treatments, dietary supplements and cosmetics contain heavy metals, impurities and toxins. Not only have they NOT been shown to work in some cases, but you do not know what you are getting since they are not tested for efficacy (in the case of remedies) or quality. You could be risking your health, or your family’s health, by using these “traditional” products.