How Products were Selected:Products tested represent those commonly sold and/or available in the U.S. ConsumerLab.com purchased products on the open market through retail stores, on-line retailers and direct sales companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
Testing Methods:Products containing iron were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- Quantitative analyses of elemental iron by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS).
- Quantitative analysis of lead, cadmium and arsenic by ICP-MS.
- Disintegration time of tablets (excluding chewable, sublingual and time-release formulations) using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Dietary Supplements."
ConsumerLab.com may modify or use other appropriate test methods if necessary to test special product formulations.
Identities of the products were not disclosed to the laboratories performing the testing.
Passing Score:*To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to:
- Contain at least 100% and not more than 125% of its labeled amount of iron. Any overage causing a product to exceed any Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) will be noted.
Heavy Metals: Products must not exceed the following limits:
- Products marketed for use by children may not exceed California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.8 mcg if the product contains more than 1,000 mg/day of calcium.
- Products with a single serving weights of less than 5 grams which are not marketed for use by children, may not exceed California's Prop 65 limits for lead in dietary supplements of 0.5 mcg per recommended daily serving with an additional allowance of 0.4 mcg if containing 250-999 mg/day of elemental calcium, magnesium and potassium, 0.8 mcg if containing 1,000 mg/day of any combination of these minerals. An additional 0.5 mcg is provided if containing 250-999 mg/day of whole herb (not extract) ingredient or 1.0 mcg if containing 1000 mg/day or more of whole herb (not extract). However, total lead allowance will not exceed 2 mcg per recommended daily serving.
- Products with single serving weights of 5 grams or more which are not marketed for children may not exceed 2.5 mcg per serving nor 4.0 mcg per daily serving.
- If marketed for use by children, may not exceed 3.0 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (based on Canada's limit for a child weighing 75 lbs.). If not marketed for use by children, may not exceed 4.1 micrograms of cadmium per recommended daily serving (above which California's Prop 65 law requires a "reproductive harm" warning due to developmental toxicity and male reproductive harm).
- Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic (EPA limit and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water) and no more than 2.1 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (Canada's limit in natural health products).
- Meet recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration of dietary supplements (excluding sublingual, chewable and time-release products).
- Meet FDA labeling requirements.
* A "Pass" was based on meeting the above criteria in either the first or second rounds of testing.
** Passing scores allow for specific margins of technical error associated with each analysis. ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to display unacceptable variation in quality, present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information.