Lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities to seizures and death. Young children are most at risk, because their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the effects of lead than adults are. As a result of a class project in one of our non-majors courses, my lab has investigated the lead content of inexpensive jewelry and toys. This work has resulted in at least 14 recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission involving more than 1.5 million children’s jewelry and toys, and has been cited in a US Congressional resolution seeking a ban on US export of electronic waste.
Weidenhamer, J. and M. Clement. 2007. Widespread lead contamination of imported low-cost jewelry in the US. Chemosphere, 67: 961-965.
Weidenhamer, J. and M. Clement. 2007. Evidence of recycling of lead battery waste into highly leaded jewelry. Chemosphere, 69:1670-1672.
Weidenhamer, J. and M. Clement. 2007. Leaded electronic waste is a possible source material for lead-contaminated jewelry. Chemosphere, 69: 1111-1115.
Yost, J.* and J. Weidenhamer. 2008. Accessible and total lead in low-cost jewelry items. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 4:358-361.
Weidenhamer, J. 2008. Lead contamination of inexpensive seasonal and holiday products. Science of the Total Environment, 407: 2447-2450. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.11.031
Yost, J.* and J. Weidenhamer. 2008. Lead contamination of inexpensive plastic jewelry. Science of the Total Environment, 393:348-350.
* identifies undergraduate co-authors.
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