Warning that complementary medicines bought online can be contaminated with lead

These alternative medicines commonly include unprescribed medication as part of conventional treatment and can include herbal medicines, vitamin and mineral supplements, homeopathic products, aromatherapy and traditional medicines.

However, the South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing said it was possible they contained lead from unintentional ingredients being contaminated during the manufacturing process, or purposely added to increase the product’s weight.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Department’s Scientific Services Director David Simon said there was some concern people were more at risk of lead exposure.

“In the absence of proven treatments or a COVID-19 vaccine, people may be more likely to turn to herbal or traditional complementary medicines they find online, unintentionally putting themselves or their families at risk,” Dr Simon said.

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