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March 1, 1976

Words Eaten and Lead Poisoning

JAMA. 1976;235(9):908. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260350014009

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To the Editor.—  In response to the editorial, "Geophagia-Induced Hyperkalemia" (234:746, 1975), Margaret O'Rourke, librarian at the Rees-Stealy Medical Clinic in San Diego, wrote, "Words eaten can also be harmful. I sometimes wonder if anything is innocuous." She thoughtfully enclosed a reprint of "Lead Poisoning from Colored Printing Inks" (Clinical Pediatrics 12:654-655, 1973) in which Hankin et al wroteLead contained in colored pages of magazines may endanger children with pica. The lead in magazines ranged from 8 ppm for black and white pages to 3,600 ppm (0.36%) for colored pages.