Native American artifacts pose pesticide exposure risk

An analysis of museum artifacts returned to California's Hoopa tribe through a federal repatriation act reveals traces of mercury and various pesticides, including DDT. Such chemicals commonly applied in the past by museums to defend their collections against pests could pose a risk to tribal members who may wear the objects during religious ceremonies, as well as to museum workers who handle the artifacts.

Of the 17 artifacts studied, seven had a mercury level of more than 1 percent by weight, and one object had a level of more than 16 percent. Naphthalene and DDT were also found frequently throughout the samples.

The research is reported in the March 15 print edition of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990 allows federally recognized tribes to request that museums return objects taken from their ancestors.

"Many Native Americans are now requesting that objects be returned to them under NAGPRA, and it is highly likely that these objects will be returned without any prior testing," says Peter Palmer, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at San Francisco State University and lead author of the paper.

Determining the potential threat to human health is a complicated issue, Palmer acknowledges. "We don't know the risks, we don't know the exposures, and hence more work needs to be done." There is currently no straightforward method to decontaminate the objects without damaging them, so until more study is done, Palmer suggests that the artifacts not be worn.

Museums have long used chemicals to protect valuable objects from rodents, insects and microorganisms. The earliest agents were various forms of arsenic and mercury salts, but as technology evolved, curators began using organic pesticides like DDT. Over the years, some pieces may have been trea

Contact: Beverly Hassell
American Chemical Society

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Healing the waters: A holistic Native American Indian approach
2. Environmental health burdens of poor Asian, Native American, African American and Hispanic communities featured at special session of Soc. of Tox.
3. Drug users, Native Americans susceptible to infectious diseases
4. Native Gray Ants Play Positive Role In Valley Peach Orchards
5. Once A Bully, Always A Bully, Invasive Non-Native Plants Tend To Be Aggressive Wherever They Find Themselves
6. Alaska Natives Provide New Evidence Linking Common Infection To Heart Disease
7. Grassland Birds Are Not Nesting In Non-Native Grasses
8. Ecological Consequences Of Jasmonate-Induced Responses For Plants In Native Populations
9. Native Fish Found In U.S. Lake Ontario For First Time In 50 Years
10. Mussels Muscling In, Crabs Pinching Native Species
11. Scientists Work To Restore Native Fish And Habitat To Great Lakes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/6/2017)... 2017 Forecasts by Product Type ... by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, ... Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation ... Are you looking for a definitive report on the ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 2017 The report "Video Surveillance ... Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service ... Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was ... projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at ... base year considered for the study is 2016 and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give ... Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks ... Strategy, will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October ... trends in the residential home security market and how smart safety and ... Parks ... "The residential ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased ... scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each ... leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: