Researchers from Ashland University and Occupational Knowledge International (OKI) recently published a study suggesting that people in developing countries throughout Africa and Asia are at risk of lead exposure from cookware made from scrap metal.
“Lead exposure from inexpensive aluminum cookware has the
potential to be of much greater public health significance than lead paint or
other well-known harmful sources that are common around the world,” OKI Executive Director Perry Gottesfeld said.
Titled “Metal exposures from aluminum cookware: An
unrecognized public health risk in developing countries,” the study simulated
cooking using cookware from 10 developing countries, boiling an acidic solution
and then testing the solution for lead contamination. Researchers found that more than
one-third of the samples constituted a lead exposure hazard, with Vietnamese
samples testing the highest on average. The researchers also found dangerous
levels of aluminum, with an average of six times more than the World Health Organization's dietary
guidelines, as well as dangerous amounts of cadmium in 31 percent of samples.
“Lead and cadmium exposures from regular use of these pots
will significantly reduce IQ and school performance among children, and
contribute to millions of deaths due to cardiovascular disease,” Ashland Professor Jeffrey Weidenhamer said.
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