Skip Navigation LinksNR24-010

Office of communications

Contact :

Office of Communications​

CDPH Urges Consumers Not to Purchase or Use Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu, a Hemorrhoid Ointment from Vietnam Found to Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead 

April 16, 2024

Ointment linked to lead poisoning death in Sacramento County 

​What You Need To Know: The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers not to use a hemorrhoid ointment called Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu.​

Sacramento – In response to a lead-poisoning death in Sacramento County, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers not to use a hemorrhoid ointment called Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu. This product is produced in Vietnam and is available for purchase on social media. Testing by CDPH revealed that the product contained 4 percent lead, an incredibly high and dangerous level.  ​  

Lead is a toxic metal and even in small amounts can have harmful effects on the body, which may result in serious health problems and even death,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer, Dr. Tomás J. Aragón. “Our hearts go out to the family of the individual who recently died of lead poisoning in Sacramento County. We are working with our county partners to generate awareness and educate the public and Vietnamese community, so this product and similar products do not harm anyone else.”  

Consumers should be extremely cautious using unregulated health products available online or through social media,” said Dr. Aragón. Many of these products overpromise to cure or relieve ailments and are not tested for safety. Putting these products on or in your body can have serious consequences.” 

What CDPH Is Doing: CDPH has alerted health care providers about this harmful product. CDPH is also working closely with county health departments to raise awareness within their Vietnamese communities. To support these efforts, CDPH has launched a web page with resources, including symptoms of lead poisoning, in both English and Vietnamese. Additionally, CDPH has notified state and federal partners.  

CDPH is working to alert online retailers and social media outlets about this product to limit its availability. 

What Californians Can Do: CDPH urges any individual who is using or has used this product to stop using it, see a health care provider, and request a blood lead test immediately. Consumers should put the product in a sealed plastic bag and call (510) 620-3620 or email 

Consumers are advised not to purchase this product or others like it that are sold privately at public events like swap meets, or through social media. Products sold this way may not be safety tested and could pose great risks to people who use them. Consumers should only purchase health care products from trusted retailers to avoid unintentional exposure to contaminated or dangerous chemicals.  ​​

Product Name and Label 

Product Name: Cao Bôi Trĩ Cây Thầu Dầu 

Product Form: Ointment ​

Product Picture

Product Picture

Product Picture

Additional Lead Prevention: For general information about how to prevent lead poisoning in children and adults, visit CDPH’s Lead Poisoning webpage. 

Consumers can also receive free and confidential advice in over 200 languages at any time of the day or night from Poison Control (1-800-222-1222). 

Page Last Updated :