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Disposable sensor detects heavy metals in humans

CINCINNATI — “Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have created a disposable lab-on-a-chip sensor that can test levels of potentially harmful heavy metals in humans in as few as 10 minutes.

Their work, published in the August issue of the journal Biomedical Microdevices, is co-authored by assistant professor of environmental engineering Erin Haynes, who has also been studying air pollution and the effects of lead and manganese on residents in Marietta, Ohio–home to the only manganese refinery in the U.S. and Canada. (Manganese compounds are used to make steel and other products.)

Manganese is naturally ubiquitous and considered essential both nutritionally and physiologically to humans, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Chronic exposure via inhalation, however, can cause manganism, a syndrome that can lead to difficulty walking, tremors, speech disturbances, impotence, and psychological issues.”

—United Press International

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