Apparently in my back to school flurry of activity I failed to notice the media and blog posts about an FDA finding of lead in children’s and prenatal vitamins. They tested 324 vitamins, and only 4 were found not to contain lead.
Unbelievable. My jaw hit the floor.
The very thing we are testing our toys for, avoiding plastic made goods for, that has been in my children’s bibs and on their doors, is in a supplement I give them everyday.
When I read this, I threw the bottle of Yummi Bears across the room. And that is not normal for me. I know the report says the amount of lead they contain is only trace amounts. I don’t care. There is lead in something I was giving my daughters because I thought it was good for them. And I know there is no safe level of lead exposure, just like tobacco.
How can this be so?
The FDA charts linked above are hard to read and understand but the message is there. Look to see if the vitamin you give your child is on the list, and if they contain lead.
These were 3 of the children’s vitamins that contained no lead, according to the FDA:
Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)
NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)
Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid)
Here are the lists of vitamins for children with the most and the least lead (Although I am not comforted by the idea of the “least lead.” How about none?), compiled by Treehugger from the FDA data:
“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
8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen
9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins
10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children
It is important to note that the FDA does not consider these vitamins to be unsafe because of the trace lead amounts (although I do not find this comforting). There is also naturally (and pollution based) lead in our food and soil, in some cases much more than is present in these vitamins. My point is that multiple exposures can add up and be damaging, and this one is avoidable.
I emailed Hero, the company that makes Yummi Bears about the lead in their vitamins. I can’t imagine what they will have to say about it, but I will post the results here.
I also give my daughters Nordic Natural’s Children’s DHA. I noticed they say right on the label, “All Nordic Naturals fish oils surpass all pharmaceutical standards for freshness and purity. Every batch is third-party tested, showing no detected levels of heavy metals, dioxins, or PCBS.”
Nordic Naturals also makes the Nordic Berries multivitamin I had been giving my girls. They are twice as expensive as the Yummi Bears and that is why I switched. I will contact them as well and see if the testing they do for their fish oil products is also used for the multi-vitamin.
Not only is this an outrage, but how about the prenatal vitamins that I took all during both pregnancies and afterward? And one of my favorite companies, New Chapter Organics, is listed by the FDA for their prenatal vitamin containing lead.
And don’t think that just because a vitamin is not listed, it doesn’t contain lead. They didn’t test all vitamins on the market. In light of this, there should be some sort of lead free certification that vitamin makers have to go through before products are on the stores shelves. This is not rocket science. Why isn’t it happening?
Readers, what are you doing about this issue? Are you giving your children a multi-vitamin? Did you know about this, or do you have a brand you researched and feel confident about?
I feel defeated about this issue. It truly seems like we are on our own to protect our kids, and the battle never ends.
Thanks to Nicole who tipped me off on this issue.