Archives for posts with tag: cadmium

From the Idaho Statesman:

If you use an electronic device (and who doesn’t), you carry around a significant amount of cadmium, a heavy metal that is toxic if ingested.

It won’t hurt you while you’re using your cellphone, iPod or computer monitor, but once you’re done with it, that’s a different matter. When cadmium lands in a landfill, it can end up in drinking water.

College of Idaho professor Sara Heggland wants to help prevent that by scientifically establishing the link between cadmium and osteoporosis and other bone maladies. She hopes that data will help raise the awareness of consumers and agencies and help shape the policy and practice of disposing of electronics.

“I love my iPhone. I love my iPad,” Heggland said. “But we need to come up with responsible ways to prevent e-waste from getting into landfills and our environment and ultimately into you and me.”

One recent breakthrough for Heggland and her students was demonstrating that cadmium causes osteoblasts, the cells that form bones, to destroy themselves. Now they’re studying how that process, dubbed “programmed cell death,” happens.

“In promoting the death of bone-forming cells, it therefore promotes the development of osteoporosis,” a disease that mostly affects post-menopausal women, Heggland said.

And cadmium packs a double whammy for females, since “women accumulate cadmium more during their reproductive lifetime than men,” she said. “Why that is, is still under debate.”

Now the C of I research team is trying to determine the role of estrogen in that process.

The team also has determined that cadmium gets deposited in the extra-cellular matrix of bone instead of calcium, and wants to figure out what replacing calcium does to the strength of bone cells.


Washington Post: Environmental justice issues take center stage.

The winding Mataponi Creek looks clear in the sunlight, with marsh grasses lining its banks. But some of the coal ash waste from a nearby power plant is also coursing through its waters, and residents are worried it is contaminating their well water.  The area around the Brandywine ash storage site – where waste from Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s Chalk Point plant containing carcinogens and heavy metals ends up – is a fairly rural community, with residents who are far from politically active and have little leverage with elected officials who might act on the matter. . . . The controversy over toxic coal ash waste in this corner of Prince George’s County – and fights for greater coal ash regulation from Alabama to Puerto Rico – highlights an issue that has been around for decades and is again in the spotlight: environmental justice.  More . . .

Associated Press: Cadmium, lead found in drinking glasses.

Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” exceed federal limits for lead in children’s products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press. The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets — made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank — contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children’s products is 0.03 percent. The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no federal limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces. More . . .

Associated Press: US probes lead in kids’ drinking glasses.

Federal regulators launched an investigation on Monday into lead levels in themed drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters, declaring them children’s products subject to stricter standards than those intended for adult collectors.  The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it was collecting samples of all glasses cited in an ongoing Associated Press investigation into dangerous metals in children’s merchandise, generally those containing the more dangerous toxin cadmium. The company that imported the Chinese-made glasses depicting the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman and characters from The Wizard of Oz, such as Dorothy and the Tin Man, announced it would voluntarily recall them, despite its insistence that they were marketed to adults. More . . .

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