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

Stay out of trouble »

Asthma danger zones 13 danger zones Teen dangers

21 dangerous things people do

Here are 21 things people do without thinking. But they are dangerous, and could kill you or the people around you.

Sexual health »

STIs: how to stay safe Apps for gay and bi men tied to STI risk Penis bumps

The STI most men get without knowing it

Most guys haven't ever heard of the human papillomavirus, yet many will get it at some stage in their lives without even knowing it.