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Two children suffer lead poisoning after using cosmetic product

  • Published Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, at 6:51 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, at 8:11 a.m.

At least two Kansas City children have suffered lead poisoning from a contaminated cosmetic product that is most commonly used in Myanmar, the Kansas City Health Department reported Tuesday.

Thanakha, also spelled “thanaka” or “tanaka,” is a yellowish paste made from tree bark that is worn on the face and arms. It traditionally is used to treat or prevent acne, as a sunscreen and as a cosmetic, the health department said.

The contaminated product found in Kansas City was in a silver-colored metal container with a cardboard cover picturing a woman wearing a pink dress. The label, printed in Burmese, said “Sondraque, in the Myanmar tradition, the princess uses Thanakha,” the health department said.

The health department urged anyone who has used the product to seek a blood lead test. For more information, call the health department’s lead poisoning prevention program at 816-513-6048.

Alan Bavley, abavley@kcstar.com

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