Getting The Lead Out (of vitamins this time)

By Kristie Turck •  Published 01/13/09 •  3 min read

Last updated on January 15th, 2009 at 05:30 pm

By now you’ve probably seen around your favorite green blogs, that the FDA had gotten wind of lead in various vitamins and supplements.   They tested 324 different brands for levels of lead as well as levels of exposure to lead.    What is this report trying to say?   That the levels of lead in vitamins are safe?   Though, it’s hard to decipher from the report, this is what I can gather, and that conclusion doesn’t make us happy.

How do I personally feel about this?  It’s absolutely disturbing to me.

We had gotten some questions awhile back regarding vitamins and supplements and the answer still remains the same.   First and foremost, talk with your pediatrician before administering any supplement, period.   Most pediatricians will tell you that they’d prefer for your child gets his nutrients through food.   And most of the time, that suffices perfectly fine and they don’t really need vitamins at their age.   But, what if they do?   There kids out there that might just be really picky eaters.  Maybe your child is on the spectrum and all they’ll drink is water and all they’ll eat is processed chicken nuggets in the form of a star.   This isn’t out of the ordinary.   Maybe your child has a metabolic disorder and has to take supplements in order to survive.   I know we give our son a few different things for focus and mental balance.  Neither of the supplements we give him are listed, but that doesn’t mean anything.  It means that it probably just wasn’t tested.   And that’s even more disturbing to me.   Especially given all of the problems we’ve worked to overcome with our son over the last year.

So what do we recommend?

This is one of those situations where I wish we had a clear cut answer for you.   In a lot of cases, organic and natural vitamins are less regulated, therefore have the potential to not be as “green” or contain as much of a vitamin as they tout.    A lot of conventional vitamins are synthetic, which can also pose their own dangers.   Nature Mom has a great article on that subject.   If your particular brand wasn’t tested, you can obtain a lead testing kit at your local hardware store.  I’m not sure about accuracy, but it may be worth a shot.  Unfortunately, knowing what we know about the FDA, they’ve said that the levels are safe, and by now have probably washed their hands of it.    Based on our experiences with the whole BPA fiasco, I don’t see things changing anytime soon.