Morning Sickness Remedy May Contain Lead, Arsenic

<"">Nzu, a traditional morning sickness remedy, has been found to be tainted with high levels of lead and arsenic. According to a press release from the Texas Department of State Health Services, consumers should avoid using Nzu, especially pregnant or breast feeding women.

Nzu generally resembles balls of clay or mud and also is called Calabash clay, Calabar stone, Mabele, Argile and La Craie. The Nzu may be covered in a brown or white “dust” and is usually sold in small plastic bags with a handwritten label identifying it as “Nzu” or “Salted Nzu.”

Texas health inspectors have apparently found Nzu at two African specialty stores – one in the Dallas area and one in Houston. It was also found at a distributor in Houston. Lab analysis of Nzu revealed that it contained high levels of lead and arsenic.

Exposure to lead can result in a number of harmful effects, and a developing child is particularly at risk of effects on the brain and nervous system. Arsenic is a carcinogen, and excessive long-term exposure to it has been associated with a range of adverse health effects, including cancers of the urinary bladder, lung and skin.

Anyone who has been ingesting the product should contact their health care provider.

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