In 2013, Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer was contacted by Perry Gottesfeld of Occupational Knowledge International with a question about the safety of cookware. Mr. Gottesfeld was working with colleagues at an NGO (see: http://www.crepdcm.com/) in Cameroon to reduce toxic exposures from lead paint, when questions were raised about the possible hazards of the aluminum cookware that most people there use. In Cameroon, and throughout the developing world, the recycling of scrap aluminum into cookware is a widespread practice. After a preliminary investigation we learned that source materials can include items such as old engine blocks, radiators, and computer parts.
Pots awaiting sale in a Cameroon marketDr. Weidenhamer and several AU students – Peter Kobunski, Alison Biro, and Meghann Fitzpatrick – along with AU colleagues Dr. Rebecca Corbin and Dr. Michael Hudson, set out to investigate the hazards of this cookware by looking at the metals that leached from the pots in dilute vinegar solutions that mimicked mildly acidic solutions that are often used for cooking. Working with Mr. Gottesfeld, and beginning with cookware from Cameroon and then ten other developing nations, they found a number of cookware items that released toxic levels of lead during simulated cooking. The worst was a pot from Viet Nam that yielded more than 1400 micrograms of lead per serving. Other metals detected in the leachates of some pots included arsenic and cadmium, and almost all of the items released levels of aluminum that exceed World Health Organization guidelines.
The studies, which have been published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, have encouraged researchers in Cameroon, South Africaand other countriesto conduct follow-up studies to assess the...Read more
Dr. Daiva (Gerbec) Mitchell (’13) completed her MD at the University of Toledo School of Medicine (MD) in Spring 2019, and is currently a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Daiva writes,
“Ashland University was the perfect school to prepare me for medical school and my career as a physician. With the small class sizes, I was able to get to know my professors and easily find mentors and research opportunities. Also, with Ashland's wide variety of clubs and groups, I was able to develop my professional and leadership skills while in college. Finally, with Ashland's focus on Christian values, I grew in my compassion for others which has impacted the way I care for my patients now.”
Dr. Aaron Tipton (’13) also completed his MD at the University of Toledo School of Medicine (MD) in Spring 2019, and is a General Surgery resident at the Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Aaron writes,
“The experience at Ashland University prepared me for medical school in many ways from knowledge, critical thinking and a love for learning. Every class was taught by a professor who was passionate about the subject. They inspired me to become a lifelong learner, which is one of the most important traits of becoming a physician.”
Dr. Kayla Prokopakis (’15) completed her DO at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spring 2019, and is an Emergency Medicine resident at Mercy Health -St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital in Boardman, Ohio.Kayla writes,
“Ashland University prepared me for medical school and my professional career in more...Read more
Cillian writes that the feedback she received will be useful for other presentations of her research in the coming year, and that she was able to see projects that that Honors Students around the country are working on. While in New Orleans, Cillian had the opportunity to check out a couple of museums related to her scientific interests – the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Death, which has memorabilia related to famous crimes among other forensic-related topics.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum (photos below) was located in a pharmacy that was founded in the 1800s. The building housed old pharmaceutical equipment and various questionable medications. Tinctures ranged from mixtures of cocaine and red wine, to heroin and sodas. In addition, there was no shortage of heavy metals, including lead coated pills for the rich, and lead baby bottles to sooth young ones. Overall, Cillian found the museum was very educational and interesting, particularly for Toxicology majors.
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Look for your fellow alums in the photos below. We hope to see you at future socials.
Sandra Chapman ('86) and Steve Zody ('86)
Mason Posner (Biology), Janna Pearson ('10), Blair Bowers ('10),
Tricia Montgomery ('10), David Ellsworth ('10) and guests
Tyler McFarland ('18), Troy Chipka, Makayla Chipka ('17)
and Alyssa Predota ('16)
Cortney Kourie ('17), Paul Hyman (Biology), Amy Shuster ('17)