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Investigators Find Lead in Prenatal Vitamins

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The Dangers of Defective Prenatal Vitamins in NJ

When vitamins or other medications are improperly manufactured, tested, or marketed, consumers are placed at risk. This is particularly true in the case of prenatal vitamins, which can impact both a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Unfortunately, companies do fail to uphold their duty to provide safe prenatal products to women in New Jersey and throughout the United States. They may also fail to provide adequate or accurate information about the contents and safe uses for the drugs, supplements, and other products they sell. In a recent case, city officials took legal action against a specific brand of prenatal vitamins, after discovering that they contained traceable levels of lead, despite advertising to the contrary.

It is important to remain aware of current safety advisories for any of the products that you are using during pregnancy in order to protect yourself and your baby. However, it is ultimately the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide safe products for sale and use by the public, as well as to properly inform consumers about product risks. If you or your child suffered harm because of a defective or unsafe prenatal medication or supplement in New Jersey or elsewhere in the U.S., this may form the basis of a lawsuit. To discuss your specific case and learn more about your potential eligibility for compensation, contact our team of attorneys at 866-708-8617 or fill out our online form to request a free consultation.

How Prenatal Lead Exposure Affects Pregnant Women and Infants

Exposure to lead during pregnancy can spell a host of detrimental effects for pregnant women and their babies. In addition, the damaging effects of lead are present at lower levels of the toxin than was previously thought for newborns, children, and adults alike. Lead most often attacks the nervous system, causing numerous serious symptoms including seizures, mental confusion, delirium, coma, and even death. Over time, exposure to lead may cause cardiovascular problems, hypertension, kidney damage, infertility, and cognitive impairments. Children are more vulnerable to complications from lead toxicity, as their nervous systems are still developing when exposed to the toxic substance.

During pregnancy, lead can be passed from the mother to the fetus through the placenta. Medical researchers have uncovered lead in the brains of fetuses, even in the first trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women exposed to lead may suffer from:

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational hypertension

As for infants, exposure to lead during pregnancy increases the risk of:

  • Neurological impairments
  • Low birth weight (which raises the risk of other serious birth injuries)
  • Premature birth
  • Problems with mental development

Lead Testing & Management during Pregnancy

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first published guidelines for lead testing among pregnant women in 2010. These guidelines also addressed how healthcare providers should manage lead exposure during pregnancy, once identified in their patients. Although the CDC does not currently recommend lead testing among all pregnant women, they do state that doctors should evaluate each patient’s medical condition and potential risks at the outset, and order blood tests accordingly. If a woman is diagnosed with having 45 micrograms/dL or more after blood tests, healthcare providers should take immediate action with appropriate treatment and/or nutritional supplementing based on the individual case.

Officials Discover Lead in Prenatal Vitamins

The LA City Attorney’s Office recently reached a settlement with Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems, LLC., a subsidiary of the Clorox Company, after investigators uncovered that its Rainbow Light prenatal vitamins contained lead. The company’s advertising for their vitamins stated that the product was “free of heavy metals” and further, had “the lowest detectable lead level” available.

Subsequent testing revealed that the prenatal vitamins did, in fact, contain detectable levels of lead and that neither statement represented the actual lead content of the product. The company ultimately chose to cooperate and reached a settlement with the city, which included $1.5 million in consumer restitution for those who had purchased the prenatal vitamins within the last 4 years. An additional $250,000 is to be paid in civil penalties and other costs.

Rainbow Light also removed the aforementioned claims from all of its advertising for the brand’s prenatal vitamins, thus providing pregnant women with the opportunity to make truly informed decisions regarding to what they expose themselves and their unborn children. They also agreed to continued testing and to further reduce the amount of lead in these prenatal vitamins.

Have Questions about Your Rights if You or Your Child Suffered Harm from a Dangerous Prenatal Product in New Jersey? Get Help Today.

If you are wondering if you may have a claim against a prenatal product manufacturer because of injuries from a dangerous prenatal vitamin, medication, or another product, contact 866-708-8617 for immediate assistance. Our team of highly experienced attorneys handles pregnancy-related medical malpractice and product liability cases throughout New Jersey. We also consult on these cases nationwide.

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