Ben Gay, Icy Hot Sports Analgesic Cream Blamed Girl Track Star’s Death

Ellen Borakove New York medical examiner blamed a 17-year-old track star’s death April 3, 2007 on the use of too much anti-inflammatory muscle cream that is advertised for use to soothe aching  muscles and joints from physical exertion.

In addition to applying an analgesic and anti-inflammatory muscle cream on her legs between track meets, Newman used adhesive pads containing the anti-inflammatory, and an unspecified third product containing the methyl salicylate, Borakove said. The products were used topically and the chemical absorbed over time, she said.

Arielle Newman, a cross-country runner at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island, died after her body absorbed excessive levels of methyl salicylate, an anti-inflammatory found in sports creams such as Bengay and Icy Hot, the New York City medical examiner said Friday.

Exercise and heat can accentuate absorption. Chronic use is more dangerous than one-time use. Experts are unsure if Arielle Newman lathered on too much during applications or if her body absorbed the methyl salicylate abnormally … or if she died from a combination of both factors.