Yolanda Hedberg

December 8, 2021 at 3PM

This virtual seminar was delivered using WebEx. 

Corrosion and health hazards of materials

Yolanda Hedberg1,2,3

1Dept. Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
2Surface Science Western, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
3Lawson Research Health Institute, London, Ontario, Canada

The interface between our biosphere and material surfaces is a dynamic interface. Reactions here determine degradation mechanisms and rates. If degradation involves chemical processes, it is called corrosion. Corrosion processes can be desired or feared, depending on circumstances. Too rapid corrosion processes can cause material failure, severe accidents, toxicity, health effects, and environmental pollution. Too slow corrosion processes can cause issues of biopersistency and problems for circular economies. Even the human body is full of corroding materials and corrosion products, for example from materials we touch, eat, implant, or inject in our body. Some of them might be even beneficial for health or harmless, while others are harmful.

This seminar will give an overview on past accomplishments in this research area by highlighting some insights and significant contributions, all made possible through interdisciplinary collaboration and multi-analytical tools combining imaging, spectroscopic and electrochemical analytical methods for solid materials, surfaces, colloids, and solutions. This will include corrosion of metallic implant materials, protein-induced corrosion mechanisms, corrosion of metal-containing nanoparticles, and skin allergies to metal-containing items.

Ongoing projects and future research challenges will be discussed with a focus on exploring synchrotron X-ray techniques.


Yolanda Hedberg has an engineering degree (2009) in materials science from Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany, a Ph.D. (2013) in corrosion science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and did her postdoc at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Sweden, in the field of occupational and environmental dermatology. She has been recruited as an Assistant Professor in chemistry, to the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2020, as a Canada Research Chair in Corrosion Science (Tier 2) and Wolfe-Western Fellow.

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