Lead levels in foods prepared in aluminum pots from Cameroon exceed US guidelines for lead consumption
Lead levels in foods prepared in aluminum pots from Cameroon exceed U.S. guidelines for lead consumption according to a new study published this month. A typical serving contains almost 200 times more lead than California's Maximum Allowable Dose Level (MADL) of 0.5 micrograms per day.
Dr. Jeffrey Weidenhamer, professor of chemistry at Ashland University and an author of the study, discusses research results with Ashland University senior Peter Kobunski, a biochemistry major from Nashport, Ohio.
Credit: Ashland University EagleEye Photography
Researchers at Ashland University and Occupational Knowledge International tested 29 samples of aluminum cookware made in Cameroon and found almost all had considerable lead content. This cookware is common throughout Africa and Asia and is made from recycled scrap metal including auto and computer parts, cans, and other industrial debris.
The study, "Lead Exposure from Aluminum Cookware in Cameroon," was conducted in partnership with the Cameroonian NGO Research and Education Centre for Development (CREPD) and published in the August issue of the journal of Science of the Total Environment.
There are no regulatory standards for lead in cookware but the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have determined that there is no safe level of exposure to lead.
"This previously unrecognized lead exposure source has the potential to be of much greater public health significance than lead paint or other well-known sources that are common around the world." said Perry Gottesfeld, Executive Director or Occupational Knowledge International.
Recently conducted surveys of lead exposure in Africa and Asia have suggested that blood lead levels have remained stubbornly elevated despite the ban on lead in gasoline in most of the world. "The presence of lead in food cooked in these pots may be one contributing factor to the ongoing lead poisoning epidemic." Gottesfeld said.
"Unlike some other sources of lead contamination, lead poisoning from cookware can impact entire families over a life-time. Even low-level lead exposures can result in reduced IQ and neurological deficits, and contribute to cardiovascular disease." according to Jeffrey Weidenhamer, Professor of Chemistry at Ashland University and an author of the study.
The investigation simulated cooking by boiling acidic solutions in the cookware for two hours and measuring the lead extracted in solution. The researchers also found significant levels of aluminum and cadmium leached from the cookware along with the lead.
According to Gilbert Kuepouo, Executive Director of CREPD and an author of the study, "These locally made aluminum pots are the most commonly used in Cameroon and throughout Africa, so the lead levels we found are alarming and a threat to public health."
In the past aluminum from cookware and other sources was cited as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease but multiple studies have failed to identify a consistent link. Although the U.S. has set limits for lead leaching from ceramic ware, no regulations address lead exposures from aluminum or other cookware.
Lead exposure in children is linked to brain damage, mental retardation, lower educational performance, and a range of other health effects. Globally lead accounts for more than 674,000 deaths per year.
The article is available online at: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1PSdhB8ccQ8ZC
About Occupation Knowledge International
OK International is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that works to build capacity in developing countries to identify, monitor, and mitigate environmental and occupational exposures to hazardous materials in order to protect public health and the environment. The organization seeks to address inequities in environmental standards between developed and developing countries by working in partnership with industry, government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For more information, visit http://www.okinternational.org.
About Ashland University
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report's National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.
CREPD is a Cameroon based NGO that focuses on health and environmental issues in collaboration with government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. CREPD specializes in promoting sustainable development through the sound management of chemicals and hazardous waste, sustainable agriculture, and responsible mining. CREPD is one of the foremost organizations involved in international negotiations on chemical safety. For more information, visit http://www.crepdcameroon.org
Perry Gottesfeld | Eurek Alert!
The route to high temperature superconductivity goes through the flat land
23.11.2015 | Aalto University
Quantum spin could create unstoppable, one-dimensional electron waves
19.11.2015 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...
In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.
Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...
Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...
AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change
The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...
25.11.2015 | Event News
17.11.2015 | Event News
21.10.2015 | Event News
25.11.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
25.11.2015 | Earth Sciences
25.11.2015 | Physics and Astronomy