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"Homeopathic Magnetic Healing Bracelet" Gives Baby Severe Lead Poisoning


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

Lead poisoning normally comes from old paint or toxic water - this is a relatively rare occurrence. Frutek/Shutterstock

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 9-month-old baby contracted acute lead poisoning because she was given what was referred to as a “homeopathic magnetic hematite healing bracelet” by her parents after they purchased it at a local market in Manchester, Connecticut.

Proponents of alternative therapies  – which are definitely not medicines in any shape of form – have sometimes brought up magnetic materials as examples of objects that have healing properties. This is as legitimate as saying that rubbing a cat on your forehead has healing properties.


This bracelet was one of those fallacious things. It was reportedly given to the child to wear as a teething aid, and she was known to chew on it regularly. The problem with this is that this rust-rich bracelet also appeared to contain plenty of lead, which is quite dangerous to ingest.

Levels exceeding 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood – basically, a very small amount – are considered to be abnormal. The toddler had more than eight times that amount.

It’s safe to say that this is a very unusual way to get lead poisoning. Most younglings contract it after accidentally ingesting lead paint, dust, and contaminated soil. The fact that this bracelet was given to a child for teething purposes then is as irresponsible as it is bizarre.

No information is available on the status of the child, who was tested back in September 2016, but the CDC report infers she’s still alive. She’s one of the luckier ones: several children over the past two decades have died as a result of lead poisoning linked to similar charms and jewelry.


Frustratingly, whoever sold the bracelet cannot be traced, so they could still be around selling those bracelets to more unsuspecting customers.

The spacer beads contained high levels of lead. Kimberly Dubanoski/CDC

It’s been official for some time now – the water wizardry that’s known as homeopathy doesn’t work; it cannot treat any health condition, and the most it can do is give you a little bit of sugar, or hydrate you. That’s it. If you disagree, you’re really on the wrong website. We're not actually even sure why this bracelet is called homeopathic at all, to be honest with you - homeopathy usually requires swallowing something, and we're fairly sure you're not meant to swallow this bracelet. Fairly sure.

As this report demonstrates, these types of alternative medicine practices can also sometimes cause great harm, and not just because they're turning some people away from actual medicine. If something claiming to be medicinal isn’t regulated, then we’d advise staying well away from it, because you have no idea what it contains and what risks you're taking.

[H/T: LiveScience]


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