FDA Warns that “Best Bentonite Clay” is Associated with Increased Risk of Lead Poisoning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers against using “Best Bentonite Clay” made by Best Bentonite located in Guthrie, Oklahoma. The federal regulators’ laboratories found that “Best Bentonite Clay” contains increased levels of lead, potentially posing a risk of lead poisoning.

Lead exposure may lead to serious damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and immune system, according to the FDA. In children, ongoing lead exposure, even when at lower levels, is known to cause cognitive impairment, reduced IQ, and behavioral difficulties. In fetuses and children, lead exposure may also lead to brain damage, learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, and mental and physical retardation. In adults, lead exposure is also known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, and nervous system damage.

Once an individual is poisoned by lead, none of the body’s organ systems are immune. What’s more, lead poisoning is challenging to recognize and diagnose as it manifests with sometimes imperceptible symptoms; there are no definitive indicators pointing to contamination. When faced with peculiar symptoms or a peculiar set of symptoms that do not match any one disease, lead poisoning should be considered.

“Best Bentonite Clay” is offered as a fine powder and may be purchased online at Amazon.com and the Best Bentonite website. The Best Bentonite website indicates that customers should mix the product with water and either ingest it or apply it directly to the skin.

The FDA has not confirmed any lead poisoning cases associated with “Best Bentonite Clay”; however, the agency notes that consumers should not purchase or use “Best Bentonite Clay,” adding that anyone who has used this product or given the product to a child should consult a health care professional immediately.

Lead poisoning is a very serious health threat to children under the age of six and typically occurs from swallowing lead or breathing lead dust. While this usually occurs with ingestion of lead paint chips and paint, lead ingestion may occur from consumption of a lead-containing product, such as “Best Bentonite Clay.” Even small amounts of lead may be dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb lead more easily than adult bodies do. In fact, a prior study revealed that childhood exposure to lead might lead to permanent brain damage.

A known neurotoxin, lead exposure to the developing brain may cause negative influences and have long-lasting effects that continue well into puberty and beyond. In high doses, lead poisoning may cause seizures, coma, and death. Experts agree, there is no safe level of lead.