Lead, Arsenic, and Other Heavy Metals in Prenatal Vitamins
High levels of lead and other toxic elements (such as mercury, arsenic, and cadmium) are known to cause reproductive harm or cancer. So why are they in some prenatal vitamins? Let’s dive in.
By women’s health expert and fertility warrior Halle Tecco
Limiting exposure to toxic elements is important, especially when pregnant. The federal government (and more recently the state of California) has set guidelines and limits for the presence of lead and other toxic elements, but does your prenatal make the cut? In this guide, we’ll dive into safety guidelines for heavy metals in prenatal vitamins.
Is there lead in prenatal vitamins?
Unfortunately, some prenatal vitamins do contain lead. Prenatal vitamins contain minerals like calcium and magnesium; but in nature, these helpful minerals are found mixed in the earth and must be processed to remove heavy metals. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has set federal limits for lead in supplements (more on this below) — but not all supplements fall under the limit.
When the FDA looked into the levels of lead in supplements marketed towards children or pregnant women, they found that all 75 prenatal vitamins contained some amount of lead, and one brand had nearly 9 mcg per serving (the USP limit is 5 mcg/day). A 2018 study found that toxic elements, including lead, are found in prenatal vitamins with lead at unacceptable levels in more than half of the products tested.
Want to learn more? Read the full article on Natalist.com.