Washington: Parents please take note. Cooking food in aluminium pots, pans or dishes may reduce your kid’s Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and performance at school. The findings published in journal Science of the Total Environment, indicate that cadmium is neurotoxic in children and causes kidney damage which is linked to cardiovascular deaths and is carcinogenic.
Lead exposure in children is linked to brain damage, mental retardation, lower educational performance and a range of other health effects. According to the study, aluminium cookware are made from scrap metal including auto and computer parts, cans and other industrial debris that poses a serious and previously unrecognised health risk to millions of people.
“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,” said lead study author Jeffrey Weidenhamer from Ashland University.
The researchers tested samples of aluminium cookware made in 10 developing countries and more than one-third pose a lead exposure hazard. The investigation simulated cooking by boiling acidic solutions in the cookware for two hours and measuring the lead extracted in solution.
The cookware also released significant levels of aluminium, arsenic and cadmium. They also found levels of aluminium on average were six times greater than WHO dietary guidelines and significant concentrations of cadmium leached from 31 percent of the cookware tested.
“Lead exposure from inexpensive aluminium 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,” said Perry Gottesfeld from Occupational Knowledge International.
“The presence of lead in food cooked in these pots may be one contributing factor to the ongoing lead poisoning epidemic,” Gottesfeld stated. 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.