Unauthorized natural product recalled, contains mercury, arsenic
Published Wednesday, September 19, 2012 8:16AM EDT
TORONTO -- Health Canada has announced a recall of an unauthorized natural health product that contains unsafe levels of mercury, lead and arsenic.
The department says the levels of mercury in the product are far above the allowable limit and could present a significant health risk to people who use it.
The product is sold under the name Zhuifeng Tougu Wan.
The product, which is marketed for traditional Chinese use, was sold in Chilliwack, Vancouver and Richmond in British Columbia and in Toronto.
Health Canada says the product contains lead at levels four times above the allowable limit and arsenic at nearly twice the allowable limit.
Health Canada is monitoring the recall by distributor Wing Quon Enterprises.
It says the product could be a particular risk to children and pregnant women. Symptoms of exposure to unsafe levels of mercury include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle cramps, diarrhea, heart abnormalities and anemia as well as liver and nervous system problems.
A release from Health Canada says lead can cause abdominal pain, anemia, changes in blood pressure, reproductive effects, weakness, concentration problems, weight loss, insomnia, dizziness, kidney and brain damage, and even death. Arsenic's toxic effects include skin and lung cancers, heart and lung diseases, and brain damage.
Zhuifeng Tougu Wan was sold in British Columbia at Guang Zhou Herbs Plus in Chilliwack, De Xing Long in Vancouver, and Nam Pek Enterprises Ltd. outlets in Vancouver and Richmond. It was also sold at Sun Ming Hong in Toronto.
The department says people who have taken the product and are worried about having done so can speak with their health-care provider. And it is urging anyone who experienced adverse reactions from taking the product to report them to Health Canada.
As well, people who bought the product can contact the distributor, Wing Quon Enterprises, at 604-273-5028, for information on the recall.