Since the report by Wilcox and Caffey in 19261 of two cases of lead poisoning in nursing infants due to the use of lead nipple shields by the mothers, the potential danger of these devices as a source of plumbism in the nursing infant has been noted. Although lead poisoning is being recognized with increasing frequency in infancy, being due to the ingestion of paint, the use of lead-containing cosmetics by the nursing mothers (Japan), the burning of storage battery boxes and the like, we have found no cases reported attributable to nipple shields since the report of Wilcox and Caffey.
However, when one considers the fact that the lead nipple shield must be in fairly common use, since it is recommended as a remedy for fissured nipples by many of the standard textbooks of obstetrics,2 it is quite possible that there are unrecognized cases of lead poisoning
Rapoport M, Kenney AS. A CASE OF LEAD ENCEPHALOPATHY IN A BREAST-FED INFANT DUE TO THE USE OF LEAD NIPPLE SHIELDS BY THE MOTHER. JAMA. 1939;112(20):2040–2042. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1939.62800200002011a
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