Not to freak anyone out, but there are trace amounts of lead in most produce you eat. So it makes sense to me that Rainbow Life Complete might have more lead, because there is more food in it than most!
If you sort the list of prenatal vitamins by lead amt, then almost all of the highest on the list are labeled "complete". Looking at the very highest, it is claimed comparable to Rainbow Life Complete, and is 6 pills per serving like Rainbow Life.
Other differences between a commercial prenatal and a whole foods supplement is total volume. Some prenatals are relatively small, once a day pills - even chewable, sweetened tablets. Rainbow Life Complete is 6, big, uncoated tablets that taste and smell like grass and vitamins.
A whole foods supplement also gets its nutrients from real food sources. Most foods have trace amounts of lead because lead is in the ground, air, water, etc. So when you concentrate tons of plant material into compressed tablets, you get a lot more nutrients and apparantly more lead - so probably other contaminants that are naturally in the source foods. Compare that to something created in a chem lab - yes less contaminants, but how usable is it by your body, and what is really in it?http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/j...09345/abstract
This is the first link I found summarizing the content of lead in produce. There is a lot out there on lead in vegetables though - from farms along highways to backyard gardens. So I am sure there are lots of other sources to study if you are interested. They sampled a bunch of vegetables:
"...Brussels sprouts, apples, pears, cabbages, potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, swedes, watercress, frozen vegetables, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms and dried herbs...."
And checked the lead and cadmium levels. As for the lead:
"....The lead content of the 231 samples was in the range 0.01 to 3.85 parts/million the mean being 0.05 parts/million..."
So if you combine enough foods to get the nutritional content you see on whole foods vitamins, and look at just an avg lead level in produce, it kind of makes sense. Not to say anyone should or shouldn't take whole foods prenatal supplements, but probably good to understand that concentrated vitamins may mean concentrated contaminants.
As to whether they could somehow remove it in processing, that is another question worth asking the companies I would say! Maybe now that it is public and if people start asking for it, the companies would work on it!
Thanks for posting this link - it wasn't something on my radar at all about vitamins before!