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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UNC Study Measures Toxic Metal Levels in Children in a Smelting Craft Village in Vietnam

Recycling car batteries by smelting them into lead ingots may recharge a community’s economy, but a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health indicates that the resulting exposure to toxic metals can affect children who live near the smelters. The research team included Dr. Jonathan Kotch, research professor, and Dr. Viet Nguyen, project coordinator, of the School’s department of maternal and child health, and Dr. Rebecca Fry, of the department of environmental sciences and engineering. Together, they conducted a pilot study of 20 children in a smelting village in Vietnam, measuring their whole-blood lead levels (BLLs) and levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, and mercury in toenails. The research findings were published online in BioMed Central Public Health.