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Participants needed for research into metal exposure in children

Monday, 17 January 2011


Society is constantly exposed to low levels of different metals in our daily diets, however there is limited research regarding the impact this may have on our health, and the health of our children.

Researchers from the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University (ECU) are seeking participants to help them develop a clearer picture, conducting a study that investigates the human exposure to metals in our daily diets, particularly in the diets of children.

The study will look at the levels of metal present in a child’s diet and the contribution this makes to their overall metal exposure, with researchers particularly interested in investigating the level of metals consumed by children aged five to six years.

Research Fellow from the School of Computing, Health and Science, Dr Anna Callan believes the study will provide important information for parents looking to give their children the best diet possible.

“Low levels of metals are found in many types of foods. Certain metals such as iron, copper and manganese form an important part of our normal diet however an imbalance in our intake of these metals can lead to health problems.”

“Research is beginning to suggest that for other non-essential metals such as lead or cadmium, continual levels of exposure may also be associated with health effects.”

“At the moment little is known about children’s environmental exposure to metals in Australia, and in particular the effect this exposure has to their overall wellbeing,” said Dr Callan.

Participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire on their child’s health and also complete a food frequency questionnaire which provides information about their child’s typical diet over the past four-months.

In addition, parents will be asked to record everything their child eats over a 24-hour period for one day in a diet diary, and provide researchers with samples of the food and water consumed during that period.

At the end of the 24-hour period parents will be asked to provide a sample of their child’s urine, which will be measured for metal content.

For more information, or to register your child as a participant, contact Dr Callan on 6304 2349 or email a.callan@ecu.edu.au.

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
pr@ecu.edu.au
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