Lead poisoning from Mexican tourist souvenirs

A Canadian tourist was diagnosed with lead poisoning during a prolonged illness after returning from a visit to Mexico where several Mexican ceramic souvenirs, including cups, were purchased. When the souvenirs were used for drinking and food preparation, hot water in contact with the glazed ceramic utensils extracted lead from the glazing. Over time, lead levels increased in the patient causing the disease.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Food and Water Contamination.

Advice For Travellers

Authorities recommend that glazed cups, kitchen utensils and vases produced in Mexico be purchased for decorative use only and not for the preparation of food or drinks.