Tot who eats rocks and paint due to rare condition gets lead poisoning from garden mud

The mother of a boy whose rare condition makes him eat things like rocks and dirt says the mud in her garden has given her son lead poisoning.

Layla Carter, 27, says her three-year-old Vinnie has Pica – a rare eating disorder that makes him eat things such a rocks or mud.

Ms Carter noticed last year that her sons stool was white, but doctors could not come up with an explanation.

Vinnie, who is being assessed for autism, had also begun to eat paint from the front room walls.

His mum says a blood test done in March confirmed that the toddler was suffering from lead poisoning.

Public health officials tested lead levels in the property and traces were predominantly found in the front garden.

It was covered in concrete to stop Vinnie from consuming the contaminated mud.

But Layla says Vinnie continued to eat mud from the back garden, and a recent blood test from June showed lead levels in his blood doubled.

Layla says she has contacted Bristol City Council numerous times to remove her children from the ‘dangerous’ council home.

The council says they have taken some measures already and investigations are continuing.

Mum-of-two Ms Carter, said: “My concern is in the back garden – it used to be a petrol station so I think that might have something to do with it.

“I rang the council many times to see if there’s anything they could do with support or any help but we’ve had nothing

“It feels like no one’s taking it seriously, my housing officer just didn’t respond – the communication between the council has been absolutely appalling.

“It is heart-breaking to know that he is going through something like this and it feels like the council and public health are not taking it seriously.

“I feel guilty that I can not protect him as a mother. I have no control over this which is not nice.

“It has made me depressed and it is awful to live with this day to day. He is being poisoned by this property.”

The family is now living with Vinnie’s grandmother, and his lead levels have since dropped to 1.05.

Ms Carter continued: “I removed them from the property to keep them safe, but it’s really affected them.

“I cry all the time, I barely sleep and I’m really paranoid – I can only take things day by day.

“I want to give them the best and safest upbringing but it would be impossible to make the garden non-edible so we want to move to a property that’s small enough for us to do that.”

She also said that Vinnie has been experiencing extreme stomach cramps, massive mood swings and sometimes cannot eat for over a week.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: “Two samples were taken from the rear garden and one from the front garden.

“The sample from the front garden found concentrations of lead above the nationally-recognised guideline criteria.

“From the findings, works were undertaken immediately by the council’s Estates Management Repair Service to dig out the affected soil and cover this area with concrete.

“Tests were also taken inside the house and the levels of lead within paint and water sources were not a health concern, and additional testing was not required by the UKHSA.

“The nearby land, where there was once a petrol station, has also been investigated and has not been found to be a potential source of lead.

“The UKHSA and partners, including Bristol City Council, are keeping the situation under review while the investigation continues.”