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High Lead Levels in Some Indian Food Spices: Study

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Frequent use of some imported Indian food spices and religious powders may expose young children to high levels of lead, say U.S. researchers.

For example, one 12-month-old boy in the study was found to have lead poisoning from regular consumption of spices such as turmeric, black mustard seed and asafetida. His family stopped using the spices, and the boy's blood lead levels went down within six months, ABC News reported.

Religious powders such as red "sindoor" -- which is applied on the skin -- are another major concern, said the researchers at the Pediatric Environmental Health Center at Children's Hospital Boston.

They found that some of the religious powders imported from India are 47 to 64 percent lead, ABC News reported.

The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.

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