Woman Dies After High Levels Of Lead Found In Hemorrhoid Ointment; Health Officials Issue Warnings

Woman dies from lead poisoning using Vietnamese hemorrhoid ointment. Health officials issue urgent warnings as they find out certain lead levels can be deadly.

Updated on Apr 17, 2024  |  10:12 PM IST |  37.7K
Woman Dies of Lead Poisoning After Using Hemorrhoid Ointment
Woman dies using Hemorrhoid Ointment (PC: renmusb1 Twitter)
Key Highlight
  • Sacramento woman dies after using hemorrhoid ointment containing 4% lead
  • Health agencies urge immediate cessation of use

Trigger warning: This article contains reference to tragic death.

In California, health officials are giving concerned warnings after a woman died from using hemorrhoid ointment with highly lethal levels of lead in it. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said that through an advertisement on Facebook, this woman bought a product called Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu​​ (Castor Oil Hemorrhoid Extract) from Vietnam. Unfortunately, she died as a result of heavy metal intoxication occasioned by the usage of the balm.

The deadliest discovery

Further tests conducted by CDPH have shown that there was approximately 4% lead in the ointment which is considered to be very high. Shockingly, Vietnamese Facebook groups advocated for intra-rectal use of suppositories while advertising it primarily as a miracle cure for piles.

Through the skin, even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Some signs include fatigue, muscle or joint pain, mild or severe headache, severe stomach cramps and spasms, seizure coma and death.

Woman dies using Hemorrhoid Ointment (PC: The National Desk Twitter )


Immediate action needed

Anyone having this dangerous ointment must stop using it immediately before seeking medical help and getting tested for blood lead levels. Those who may have been exposed to the suspect ointment through contact with users should receive blood examinations to confirm that they are not at risk.

Orange County Health Care Agency has also issued an advisory about this item urging people to put it in a plastic bag which is then sealed before contacting their local health department. 


It remains unknown if this ointment is available anywhere else within the USA. According to FDA’s guidelines on banned deliberate use of lead compounds in products intended for use in the USA.

Woman dies using Hemorrhoid Ointment (PC: Jordan Taylor Twitter )

Implications on health

Lead affects all age groups but its impact worsens with children because it hampers normal development of the brain and nervous system. In addition, neurologic effects resulting from high exposure early in life include learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and reduced IQ. 

Additionally, chronic lead exposure in adults has been shown by scientific research to cause renal dysfunction, hypertension and neurocognitive impairment. 

The death of a woman explains why it is necessary for all consumer products to be carefully examined, especially those bought from other countries.

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What are the symptoms of lead poisoning?
Symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, nausea, headaches, seizures, and even death.

Who is most vulnerable to lead exposure?
Children are particularly vulnerable due to its adverse effects on brain development, while adults may experience kidney dysfunction and hypertension.

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About The Author

Shovan has a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism degree from Calcutta University. He loves to live in the



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