Lead has a deservedly bad reputation when it comes to human health and development, but because it’s classified as a heavy metal it will always be kind of awesome. Well, to me. Pesticide, not so much. If you dislike ingesting either type of toxin, you might be interested in a new study being released today by the Government Accountability Office that found trace amounts of “lead and other contaminants” in every sample of 40 health supplements tested.
Lead is more dangerous to children than adults because their brains haven’t been, uh, properly magnetized or something. I don’t really understand the science, but the point is it would take a lot more than “trace amounts” to make the average adult stupid. Although all 40 supplements contained lead or other heavy metals (like mercury, cadmium and arsenic), the report says amounts weren’t high enough to cause damage. You’ll have to take a lot of supplements to do any real harm.
On the other hand, 16 of the 40 supplements had pesticide at levels that exceeded legal limits, according to the report. The report also found that at least 9 of the supplements made illegal health claims.
Update: Our reader PencilSharp was watching when the GAO released the reports today, and has provided links:
“Study Finds Supplements Contain Contaminants” [New York Times]