California woman semi-comatose after using tainted face cream from Mexico

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/CNN) - Doctors say a 47-year-old California woman is in a semi-comatose state after they found methylmercury in a jar of face cream she had been using.

A California woman was hospitalized after using what doctors determined was a tainted jar of skin cream she obtained from Mexico. (Source: KTXL/CNN)

The woman’s son said she had been buying the Pond’s Rejuveness cream from Jalisco, Mexico, through a friend. She fell ill at the end of June.

“You know, she doesn't speak and we're not really sure if she's fully focused looking at us and stuff. She can't get up, stand, walk or none of that. She's just kind of bed-bound,” said the woman’s son, who chose to only identify himself as Jay to protect his mother’s identity.

Methylmercury is a central nervous system toxin that is formed when bacteria react with inorganic mercury in water, soil or plants. The woman’s son says she’d been buying the cream from Mexico through a friend of a friend for 12 years without any trouble and knew an additive was being put into the jars before it was shipped.

Jay said the additive was even a selling point.

The woman was hospitalized for a week before methylmercury was identified as the culprit in her slurred speech, loss of motor function and loss of herself.

"It’s really hard, you know, just knowing who my mom is, who she ... her personality. She’s a very active woman. You know, early in morning, get up, do her morning exercises, walks with her dog,” Jay said.

Experts said this is the first time a case of this type of mercury poisoning has been reported in the United States.

“We shouldn't have any mercury in our body but if you did, you would want it less than five. Hers was over 2,600 parts per million," said a public health educator with the Sacramento County Health Department.

Jay said his dad and four siblings, the youngest of whom is 15, are racked with worry and struggling without their mother, who they say is the backbone of the family.

Jay and county health officers are warning the public not to use anything similar to the cream in this case.

Copyright 2019 KTXL via CNN. All rights reserved.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus