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Birthday cake with icing flowers tinted with primrose petal dust used for cake decorating--Missouri, 2019

In May 2019, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services identified a cake decorating material referred to as primrose petal dust as a lead hazard during an environmental investigation of an elevated blood lead level (12 μg/dL) in a Missouri resident child aged 1 year. Handheld x-ray fluorescence analyzer, which detected the presence of lead in a jar of bright yellow primrose petal dust that had been recently used in creating decorative flowers for the child’s home-baked birthday cake. The container for the primrose petal dust used for the cake was labeled as “nontoxic” and “made in USA,” and the brand was sold by a Florida cake decorating company, which marketed it as a nontoxic color for decorating baked goods, candies, chocolate, and sugar art. (Source: Viveiros B, Caron G, Barkley J, et al. Cake decorating luster dust associated with toxic metal poisonings--Rhode Island and Missouri, 2018-2019. CDC Weekly 2021;70[43]:1501-4. Public domain.)

Associated Disorders

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Communication disorder
  • Developmental delay
  • Hyperactivity
  • Iron deficiency
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Language disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental retardation
  • Pica