Finds Lead Contamination In Some Mineral Supplements
Plains NY, 16 July 2002
announced today that its testing has shown that approximately 5%
to 10% of certain mineral supplements are contaminated with lead.
The findings are based on ConsumerLab.com's evaluation over the
past nine months of fifty-six supplements containing iron, magnesium,
or potassium. More than eleven million bottles of these mineral
supplements are purchased annually from US supermarkets, drugstores,
and mass merchandisers, according to data from Chicago-based Information
Resources Inc. ConsumerLab.com called on manufacturers to focus
on this problem, which it considers an easily avoided health risk.
supplements can be lifesaving, but should not increase the risk
of lead poisoning," said Tod Cooperman, MD, President of ConsumerLab.com.
"Lead contamination has long been an issue with mineral supplements.
We were pleased two years ago to find that none of the calcium supplements
we tested had unacceptable lead levels. However, more recently,
we have been disturbed to find lead contamination not only among
potassium supplements, as reported today, but also in magnesium
(reported in May) and iron supplements (reported last October).
Manufacturers must focus on getting the lead out of all supplements
-- which can easily be done."
its Product Review of Potassium Supplements released today, ConsumerLab.com
found lead contamination in one of the eighteen products tested.
If used to treat potassium deficiency, a daily dose of the contaminated
product would contain about 10 to 20 mcg (micrograms) of lead. It
is estimated that average total daily lead exposure in the US is
less than 5 mcg per day. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous
for fetuses, infants, young children, and pregnant or lactating
women, whose consumption of lead should not exceed 6 mcg per day
because lead can be transferred from mother to child and even low
levels of lead can adversely affect children's neurobehavioral development
and cognitive function. In adults, lead at somewhat higher levels
can cause elevated blood pressure, anemia, and adversely affect
the nervous and reproductive systems.
previously reported by ConsumerLab.com, one of nineteen iron supplements
and two of nineteen magnesium supplements were found contaminated
with lead. Other problems, such as too little or too much mineral,
were also found among some products.
full list of products that passed ConsumerLab.com's testing, as
well as information on buying and using these products, are now
available at www.consumerlab.com.
The website provides reviews of 32 vitamins, minerals, herbal and
non-herbal supplements, and of nutrition bars, powders, and drinks.
Other reviews scheduled for release in coming months include Omega-3
and 6 fatty acids from evening primrose, borage and flaxseed oils,
garlic, probiotics, and sexual enhancement supplements. ConsumerLab.com's
Guide to Buying the Best Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements
is scheduled for publication later this year.
provides consumer information and independent evaluations of products
that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held
and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership from, or
interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer
products. Individual subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available
via PR Newswire, 16 July 2002.