How Products were Selected:
Products were selected to 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 or multi-level marketing companies. Products were not accepted directly from manufacturers.
Products containing iron were tested in one or more independent laboratories for the following:
- Quantitative analyses of elemental iron by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopy).
- Quantitative analysis of lead, cadmium and arsenic for products containing whole herbs and/or 250 mg or more of minerals per daily dose by ICP-MS.
- Disintegration of non-chewable, non-capsule, sublingual and non-time-release formulations using United States Pharmacopeia (USP) <2040> recommendations entitled "Disintegration and Dissolution of Nutritional Supplements."
Products failing to meet any Passing Score criteria were re-tested in a second independent laboratory using similar methods and instrumentation unless also failing to meet labeling requirements.
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.
To achieve a "Pass" in the testing, a product had to meet the following criteria:
- Specific Product must meet 100% and not more than 125% of label claim for elemental iron
Heavy Metals: Products containing whole herbs and/or 250 mg or more of minerals per daily dose must not exceed the following limits:
- Products marketed for use by children may not exceed the State of 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 the State of 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.
- 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 (based on the State of California's Prop 65 limit).
- Contain less than 10 micrograms of total arsenic and no more than 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic per daily serving (EPA limit and state of New Jersey limits - based on 1 liter of water).
- Meets recommended USP <2040> parameters for disintegration of dietary supplements (excluding capsule, chewable and time-release products).
- Meet FDA labeling requirements
** Based on State of California's Prop 65 limit. California requires supplements exceeding this limit to bear a warning label regarding lead.
ConsumerLab.com reserves the right to disqualify a product at any time from passing its testing if it considers such product to present a safety risk or to provide misleading or inaccurate information in its labeling.