advertisement
16 April 2012

What are “heavy metals”?

“Heavy metals” are those with high density. They are often implicated in human poisoning, especially lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.

0

“Heavy metals” are those with high density. They are often implicated in human poisoning, particularly lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.

Some heavy metals, such as zinc, copper and chromium, are required by the body in small amounts, but large doses are toxic.

Environmental sources of heavy metals include air emissions from coal burning plants, smelters and waste incinerators, and wastes from mining and industry. We can be exposed to heavy metals through air pollution, and contaminated food, water and soil.

Health effects include childhood developmental problems, cancers, organ damage and autoimmune condition. Heavy metal poisoning may be fatal in severe cases.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, April 2012

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Too Tired? »

20 signs of burnout Staying active reduces stress 10 ways to have a healthier work day

Why you're exhausted

Lost your mojo? Here are 5 surprising energy drainers, plus the easy fixes that will help put the pep back in your step!

Kick the habit »

Cancer doesn't make smokers to quit Non-smokers don't use e-cigs Hookah contains benzene

How South Africans quit smoking

We asked ex-smokers to share their secrets to successfully quitting smoking. Find out how they managed to kick the habit.