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Sports Cream BenGay Kills 17-Year Old Girl...

Toxic dose of BenGay killed track star (Atlanta Journal Constitution.com)
Active ingredient accumulated in teen's blood stream

A 17-year-old track star died in April from a rare toxic dose of sports cream, New York's medical examiner said Friday.

Toxicology tests revealed Arielle Newman's blood contained lethal amounts of methyl salicylate, the active ingredient in common muscle rubs like BenGay and Icy Hot, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office. The teen accidentally used "topical medication to an excess," causing poisons to accumulate in her body over an undetermined amount of time, Borakove said.

The overdose likely led to a seizure.

Arielle, a senior at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island who garnered numerous awards in her brief athletic career, was found dead at home April 3. An autopsy was inconclusive, and led to speculation that her sudden death might have been connected to a party she attended the night before.

Her family had been waiting more than two months for the medical examiner's office to reach a final conclusion.

"I am glad this shows (Arielle) didn't die of her own doing. But this is a tragedy that could have been avoided," said her mother, Alice Newman.

Deaths from the topical salicylate poisoning appear to be extremely rare. Borakove said this was the first case she has ever encountered in 20 years with the medical examiner's office. None of the doctors contacted by reporters for this article could recall any others. Research into medical journals revealed a few reports of salicylate toxicity when absorbed through the skin, but no deaths.


Comments (5)

Wow... to think the family had to live with uncertainty for that long. It's a small comfort, given the circumstances, but it's one small step along the grieving process.

Very true. The whole thing is unfortunate. I couldn't believe this story when I first heard it on television. My Dad promptly reminded me how much I used to apply BenGay and Icy Hot for aches and pains. It is scary to think this happened.

Just like the story about the counterfeit Colgate toothpaste that made people sick -- it's a product that we don't think twice about. Of course, this doesn't mean that we should be paranoid about every little thing that we use, but still it's the classic "man bites dog" story -- it's newsworthy because it's shocking and it hits close to home.

This is very very sad.

She was only 17 years old. Surely her mother should be in some sort of legal action about this.

This is a very sad thing to happen.

Yes, i have to agree that is awful. Legal action should be taken however it is no reward to loosing a child!

Counterfeit Colgate that is also ridicules. The cost it must make to product it, why fake? Madness... Some people have no morals

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