Avoid imported camphor drugs, MDs warn

Doctors are warning parents to avoid using imported camphor products after poisonings in several New York City children.

CHICAGO — Doctors are warning parents to avoid using imported camphor products after poisonings in several New York City children.

The alert is in a report in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics about three toddlers who suffered seizures in January 2008. They had either eaten camphor products, inhaled camphor or had it rubbed on them as a cold remedy. The products included folk remedies, pesticides and air fresheners. The children were treated at a Bronx hospital and recovered.

Several other children developed similar symptoms but authorities were unable to confirm if camphor was the culprit, said Dr. Hnin Khine. She is an emergency room physician at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx who treated the three youngsters described in Pediatrics.

The products are made from the wood of evergreen camphor trees that are native to Japan and China, or from synthetics.

Camphor has a strong odour and is used in mothballs. Vicks VapoRub also contains camphor, in low, government-approved doses, although the label advises against use in children younger than 2.

The products implicated in the poisonings were imported white cubes or tablets and contained doses higher than U.S. regulations allow, Khine said.

Camphor is easily absorbed by the skin and nose. Young children are especially vulnerable. Poisoning symptoms can include stomach aches, nausea, vomiting and irritability

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Judge lifts publication ban, revealing details about Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Newly released documents reveal how last week’s deadly attack unfolded… Continue reading

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

OTTAWA — A recent union-sponsored survey suggests an overwhelming majority of federal… Continue reading

Canadian soccer captain Christine Sinclair continues to lead fight against MS

TORONTO — Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off… Continue reading

In Franklin’s anthems, women heard an empowering message

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin never saw herself as a feminist heroine.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month