Safer Drugs & Supplements
how to choose safer drugs and supplements to avoid toxic chemicals
Avoid products that contain mercury compounds
Some types of topical antiseptics and disinfectants, and older laxatives, worming medication, and teething powders contain mercury.
Mercury compounds are also used as preservatives in some medications and vaccines: ask your doctor if alternatives are available.
Look for chemical names that include mercury, derivatives of mercury (such as ‘mercuric’ and ‘mercurous’), or thimerosal.
Some folk remedies contain toxic metals
Check ingredients in folk remedies: these can contain toxic metals such as arsenic and lead.
For information on folk remedies containing lead, see:
Georgia Lead Poisoning Prevention Program: Frequently Asked Questions About Lead
For information on folk remedies containing arsenic, see:
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry: Arsenic Toxicity Exposure Pathways
Calcium supplements may contain lead
Choose calcium supplements carefully: some types have been found to contain high levels of lead. Consult Consumer Reports for information on safer brands.