FDA Discovers Lead in Women's, Children's Vitamins

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Lead, lead everywhere
Lead in cracked paint, candle wicks, lipstick, kids' toys, and vinyl lunchboxes have placed the pernicious heavy metal at the forefront of public consciousness of late. Don't blink now, though, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discovered another place where it's managed to rear its ugly head: over-the-counter women's and children's vitamins.

The agency's concern is not without merit, especially when kids are involved. Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a major environmental-health problem in the United States, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, resulting in nervous system and kidney damage, learning disabilities, speech and behavior problems, poor muscle coordination, decreased muscle and bone growth, and hearing damage. Fetuses are even more vulnerable, which makes the presence of lead in prenatal vitamins even more repugnant.
99 percent of vitamins tested contain lead
In the course of its investigation, the FDA examined 325 multivitamin products. Only four of them—NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric, Natrol Liquid Kids Companion Liquid, Twinlab Infant Care, and After Baby Boost 2—contained zero traces of lead.

Although none of the vitamins contained concentrations of lead that exceeded what the FDA considers "safe/tolerable exposure levels," we have to wonder if any quantity of lead is acceptable at all, especially when the source of this assessment condones irradiated spinach and bisphenol-A in plastics.

You can find a full list of the products tested on the FDA's Web site.

Top 10 children's vitamins with the least lead (0-6 years)
1. Twinlab Infant Care
2. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion
3. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric
4. Windmill Bite-A-Mins
5. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals
6. My First Flintstones
7. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C
8. Uno Diario Ninos
9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support
10. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins

Top 10 children's vitamins with the most lead (0-6 years)
1. Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake
2. Superior Multi Age
3. Nutraceutical Pedia Power
4. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable
5. Ola Loa Kids
6. Nature's Plus Animal Parade
7. Vita-Big-Kids
8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen
9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins
10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children

Top 10 children's vitamins with the least lead (7+ years)
1. Lil Critters Drop Zone for Teens
2. Nutrition Now Zow for Teens
3. Michael's For Pre-Teen Boys
4. Michael's For Teen Boys
5. Puritan's Pride Mega Vita Min For Teens
6. Michael's Pre-Teen Girls
7. Michael's Teen Girls
8. Good 'N Natural Ultra Teen
9. Futurebiotics Derma Teen
10. GNC Mega Teen

Top 10 children's vitamins with the most lead (7+ years)
1. Kal Enhanced Energy Teen Complete
2. Clinical Nutrients for Female Teens
3. Clinical Nutrients For Male Teens
4. Doctor's Choice For Male Teens
5. Maxi Teen Supreme
6. Rainbow Light Active Health TEEN
7. Nature's Plus Source of Life Power Teen
8. FoodScience Teen's Superior
9. Esteem Total Teen
10. Vitanica Women's Symetry

Top 10 pre- and postnatal vitamins with the least lead
1. After Baby Boost 2
2. Nature's Sunshine Nature's Prenatal
3. Nature's Plus Prenatal Liquid
4. Natrol PreNatal Care
5. Pregnancy Plus
6. Pure Encapsulations PreNatal Nutrients
7. Maxi Health One Prenatal
8. Nature's Bounty Prenatal
9. Stuart Prenatal
10. Natural Wealth Prenatal

Top 10 pre- and postnatal vitamins with the most lead
1. After Baby Boost 1
2. A to Z Naturals Wow! PreNatal
3. Vitamin Source Prenatal Complete
4. Prenatal Superior
5. Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System
6. Buried Treasure Prenatal Plus DHA Complete
7. DaVinci Laboratories Ultimate Prenatal
8. Life Time Professional Pre-Natal Formula
9. Daily Foods Baby & Me
10. Carol Bond Women's Choice Prenatal

Top 10 women's vitamins with the least lead
1. FemOne
2. Viactiv Multivitamin Milk Chocolate
3. Family Value Multivitamin/Multimineral for Woman
4. MotherNature.com Women's Basic Multi
5. Kirkman EveryDay
6. Vitabase Woman's Multi
7. Food Force Women's Force
8. 21st Century One Daily Women's
9. Viactiv Flavor Glides
10. NewChapter Organics Every Woman's One Daily

Top 10 women's vitamins with the most lead
1. NutriBiotic Ultimate Matrix
2. Super Nutrition Women's Blend
3. Esteem Total Woman
4. Garden of Life Living Multi Optimal
5. GenSpec VF-1 for African American Females
6. For Women Only
7. Garden of Life Living Multi
8. DaVinci Laboratories Spectra Woman
9. Women's Superior
10. GenSpec VF-3 para Mujeres Hispanas