FDA Survey Reveals Lead in Many Vitamins

News regarding the presence of lead in certain paints and, frighteningly, in a number of recalled toys and imported candies has been widespread, and is something many of us are aware of. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has revealed another surprising source of lead exposure–women’s and children’s vitamins.

In survey data released by the FDA in August 2008, of the 324 multivitamin-mineral products available over the internet tested, only four vitamins failed to show the presence of lead. All others contained trace amounts which, according to the FDA, are not dangerous. As a consumer, however, it’s important to know that lead is a heavy metal that builds up in our systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges parents to prevent lead exposure to children by identifying, controlling and removing hazards safely.

Lead is known to cause permanent brain damage, lower IQ, and is linked to a number of problems around learning and behavior, as well as other aspects of development. Especially vulnerable to lead exposure are fetuses and children under the age of 6.

To determine if you or your child has an elevated lead level, a blood lead test is required. However, the blood test is not definitive; according to the CDC, most kids with elevated blood lead levels have no symptoms. The best cure is preventing exposure.

For more information, the CDC has information on Childhood Lead Exposure and a complete list of vitamins and the results of the FDA Survey.

By Terri Hall-Jackson, Care2 contributing writer

34 comments

Karen R.
Karen R.3 years ago

Not too much is safe these days!

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey4 years ago

Neither of these links work. I went to the FDA website and found the study. Its here on the fda website(see below address), or in the search field(on the fda website) enter: study,lead, multiple vitamins. The first item on the list is the one.

www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm115941.htm - 17k - 2009-03-12

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton4 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

Does anyone have a working link for the survey? The list of brands would be really useful information.

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Charlie Lammers
Charlie L.5 years ago

It seems rather astonishing to me that products that people swallow every day because we are told in an endless barage of media that they are good for us contain lead. How and why does this happen?

Charlie Lammers
Charlie L.5 years ago

It seems rather astonishing to me that products that people swallow every day because we are told in an endless barage of media that they are good for us contain lead. How and why does this happen?

Melissah Chadwick
Melissah C.5 years ago

thanks

Mari Basque
Mari 's5 years ago

We should have an option on these pages to report any problems we find.

We are in the year 2010

2008
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodContaminantsAdulteration/Metals/Lead/ucm115941.htm

2009
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717124/