effects of heavy metals on human health
Cadmium is highly toxic to the kidney and it accumulates in the proximal tubular cells in higher concentrations. International Journal of Research – Granthaalayah. However, other forms of iron are of serious health problems. Lead has been used for at least … Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, and their inorganic compounds, are probably the most potentially toxic metals in the environment. Symptoms of organic mercury poisoning include depression, memory problems, tremors, fatigue, headache, hair loss, etc. Vanadium is a heavy metal that occurs in various oxidative states and has been shown to generate free radical. *Address all correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org. These transcription factors control the expression of protective genes that induce apoptosis, arrest the proliferation of damaged cells, repair damaged DNA and power the immune system . Composting is very cheap and reliable techniques for the solid waste containing organic matter. Children absorb 50% of the lead they are exposed to (vrs. Heavy metals are toxic to soil, plants, aquatic life and human health if their concentration is high in the compost. Iron toxicity occurs in four stages. Thus, heavy metals may induce carcinogenic effect by targeting a number of these proteins. Cadmium is also classified as group 1 carcinogens for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In this review we summarized effects of various toxic metals on human health. Also, lead exposure can disrupt the intracellular second messenger systems and alter the functioning of the central nervous system. Author information: (1)Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802 Pennsylvania, USA. Toxic Effects of Heavy Metals. Epigenetic … Drinking water may be contaminated with arsenic which is present in wood preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and paints . Side effects may include: 1) Cancers of the skin, lungs, stomach and other organs. It is well known that exposure to toxic heavy metals is one of the root causes of... read more, Heavy Metal Toxicity: Signs and Symptoms - over the past 50 years human exposure to heavy metal toxins has... read more, 5 Foods to avoid with heavy metals Metals are natural constituents that exist in the ecosystem. It is also important to know their sources, leaching processes, chemical conversions and their modes of deposition in polluting the environment, which essentially supports life. Other forms of mercury contamination in humans may be through anthropogenic activities such as municipal wastewater discharges, agriculture, incineration, mining, and discharges of industrial wastewater . Theses metals generally termed heavy metals include: antimony, tellurium, bismuth, tin, thallium, gold, arsenic, cerium, gallium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, mercury, manganese, nickel, platinum, silver, uranium, vanadium, and zinc [1, 2]. Alongside these mechanisms, the noxious health effects of these heavy metals are discussed. These metals have hardly any biological role to play in the human body but on the contrary their toxic effect causes malfunctioning of the body system. The equations of these reactions are shown below (see  for review) (Figure 2). Exposure to elevated levels of lead can cause the plasma membrane of the blood brain barrier to move into the interstitial spaces leading to edema . More so, it has recently been shown that manganese inhibits ATP synthesis at two sites in the brain mitochondria which are either the glutamate/aspartate exchanger or the complex II (succinate dehydrogenase) depending on the mitochondrial energy source . Their bioavailability is very high and hence it tends to bioaccumulate. Generally, proteins are not easily damaged by H2O2 and other simple oxidants unless transition metals are present. For example, the tumor suppressor gene-coded DNA was suppressed when arsenic was bound to methyl-transferase . This radical lipid further propagates the formation of peroxyl lipid radical by reacting with dioxygen molecule or with a lipid. Environmental Science and Technology Briefs from Citizens, 15, 1-6. has been cited by the following article: TITLE: A Survey of Metals Found in Tattoo Inks. By making research easy to access, and puts the academic needs of the researchers before the business interests of publishers. A diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning in sheep living on pasture in the vicinity of a zinc smelter was made based on laboratory tests and clinical signs in livestock in the Wumeng mountain area of China. Arsenic is distributed in blood and accumulates in heart, lung, liver, kidney, muscle and neural tissues and also in the skin, nails and hair. The heavy metals are slow poison to your health as they don’t have any immediate effects in your body. In the human body, these heavy metals are transported and compartmentalized into body cells and tissues binding to proteins, nucleic acids destroying these macromolecules and disrupting their cellular functions. Exposure to higher amounts of chromium compounds in humans can lead to the inhibition of erythrocyte glutathione reductase, which in turn lowers the capacity to reduce methemoglobin to hemoglobin. The human body has a tendency to absorb heavy metals from many different sources like water, food and cosmetics and excessive heavy metal inside the body may cause poisoning. Heavy metals are toxic to soil, plants, aquatic life and human health if their concentration is high in the compost. Cadmium weakens the immune system to allow encroachment by bacteria, viruses, fungi, worms, parasites and malignant tumors. Experimental studies confirmed that copper is also capable of inducing DNA strand breaks and oxidation of bases via oxygen free radicals . Cadmium inhibits the formation of many enzymes and the action of nutrients in the body, and produces high blood pressure, anemia, liver damage, and metabolic kidney dysfunction and can contribute to osteoporosis, dementia, calcium stones, hypertension, hair loss, low blood hemoglobin levels, etc. Heavy metal toxicity can either be acute or chronic effects. Even though there are no immediate problems, heavy metals keep on accumulating in our body. My name is Dr. George Georgiou and I would like to share my personal story with you. Heavy metals may be transported through erosion, run-off or acid rain to different locations on soils and water bodies. Although a few heavy metals are essential for human health, an excess amount of these metals can have negative effects . So, what is the best way of getting rid of toxic metals naturally? Acute arsenic poisoning can lead to the destruction of blood vessels, gastrointestinal tissue and can affect the heart and brain. Lead poisoning is mostly related to the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system in children and adults . It was also observed that when protein misfolded in the presence of heavy metals, the misfolded protein could not be rescued in the presence of reduced glutathione or EDTA chelator. Cadmium can cause bone mineralization as studies on animals and humans have revealed osteoporosis (skeletal damage) due to cadmium. A toxic heavy metal is any relatively dense metal or metalloid that is noted for its potential toxicity, especially in environmental contexts. It is also used to make copper intrauterine devices and birth control pills. As reviewed from , the sources of specific heavy metals are described below. Arsenic compounds have been shown in an in vitro cell line study to promote genotoxicity in humans and mice leucocytes . ... Human Health Effects …  who showed that iron-generated OH• can oxidize lipid membranes through a process known as lipid peroxidation. Soils and rocks, including coal and mineral fertilizers, contain some amount of cadmium. Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. Aluminum accumulates in the body over time, and in the brain where it’s considered a prime suspect in various brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Later, it may show symptoms of heavy metal poisoning. Are Heavy Metals in Healthy Foods? This issue paper provides some of the scientific basis that underlies metal-specific characteristics of human health effects assessment. Though in vivo studies have not revealed copper-induced oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL), in vitro studies clearly demonstrated LDL oxidation induced by copper . The allergic reactions due to chromium include severe redness and swelling of the skin. Furthermore, when these heavy metals are used in the industries for various industrial purposes, some of these elements are released into the air during combustion or into the soil or water bodies as effluents. Cadmium is emitted through industrial processes and from cadmium smelters into sewage sludge, fertilizers, and groundwater which can remain in soils and sediments for several decades and taken up by plants. Following its distribution from blood to the lungs, manganese vapor diffuses across the lung membrane to the Central nervous system (CNS). The fourth and final stage usually occurs within 2–6 weeks of iron overdose. As PhD students, we found it difficult to access the research we needed, so we decided to create a new Open Access publisher that levels the playing field for scientists across the world. Tobacco is the main source of cadmium uptake in smokers as tobacco plants, like other plants, can accumulate cadmium from the soil. By Enoch F. Sam, David K. Blay, Samuel Antwi, Constance Anaafi and Juliet A. Adoma. Chromium (VI) has the tendency to be corrosive and also to cause allergic reactions to the body. © 2019 The Author(s). Once in the environment, mercury can be … Keywords: Heavy metal, toxicity, effect on plants, heavy metal … Most people can simply avoid jewelry that contains nickel but but if you work in an affected industry, you may want to seriously consider your potential health hazards. More so, lead has been shown to decrease the content of NR2A in the hippocampus and also alter the expression of NR1 spliced variants [56, 57] suggesting lead exposure disrupts the normal ontogeny of NMDAR. Though some heavy metals such as iron and manganese are essential for certain biochemical and physiological activities in the body, elevated level in the body can have delirious health effects. The various toxic effects along with the signs and symptoms of some heavy metals in the human body will be discussed. Majority of cadmium, about three-fourths is used as electrode component in producing alkaline batteries. Let’s take a look at some of these heavy metals and their effect on health, beginning with arsenic. Thus, there are substantial evidence of chromium to promote carcinogenicity of humans as increase stomach tumors have been observed in animals and humans who were exposed to chromium(VI) in drinking water. The disruption of ATP synthesis by manganese leads to decreased intracellular ATP levels and generation of free radicals thereby increasing oxidative stress  which may contribute to manganese cellular toxicity . Organ meats, oysters and other seafood, ceramics, evaporated milk, and pesticides are additional cadmium sources. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems. AUTHORS: Meghanne E. Tighe, D. Kai Libby, Stanna K. Dorn, Jeffrey R. Hosmer, Graham F. Peaslee while short-term exposure to organic mercury poisoning can lead to depression, tremors, headache, fatigue, memory problems, hair loss, etc. 1, Nsa N. E. 1. (An Food chain polluted with toxic metals and metalloids is a significant path of human exposure and thus may cause a number of hazardous effects on human health. Manganism is a neurological disease due to manganese characterized by rigidity, action tremour, a mask-like expression, gait disturbances, bradykinesia, micrographia, memory and cognitive dysfunction, and mood disorder . Heavy metals can be found in traces in water sources and still be very toxic and impose serious health problems to humans and other ecosystems. Mainly produced from industrial activities most hazardous heavy metals are- 1. arsenic (As) 2. lead (Pb) 3. mercury (Hg) 4. cadmium (Cd) This stage is marked by the development of strictures and formation of gastrointestinal ulcerations. Most of the paints, dyes, soaps, metals, semi-conductors and drugs contain arsenic. Several heavy metals are found naturally in the earth crust and are exploited for various industrial and economic purposes. Heavy metals are thus commonly defined as those having a specific density of more than 5 g/cm3. Millions of people around the world get exposed to Metals are found all over the earth including the atmosphere, earth crust, water bodies, and can also accumulate in biological organisms including plants and animals. The health effects of cadmium exposure are exacerbated due to the inability of the human body to excrete cadmium. This indicates dysfunction of presynaptic neuron signalization in the hippocampus as a result of lead exposure . Tobacco is the main source of cadmium uptake in smokers and thus, smokers are more susceptible to cadmium intoxication than non-smokers . Heavy metals concentrations were determined in the samples using atomic … Home > Books > Poisoning in the Modern World - New Tricks for an Old Dog? Background Those metals with a specific gravity of greater than 4.0. Let’s take a look at some of these heavy metals and their effect on health, beginning with arsenic. Exposure to elevated levels of metallic, organic and inorganic mercury can damage the brain, kidneys and the developing fetus. For example, toxic arsenic present in fungicides, herbicides and insecticides can attack –SH groups in enzymes to inhibit their catalytic activities as shown in Figure 3. It has also been demonstrated that nickel can generate free radicals, which contributes to carcinogenic processes . It was observed that Cr5+ intermediates were generated as a result of one-electron reduction. Cadmium (Cd). Arsenic has also been shown to generate free radicals such as superoxide (O2•–), singlet oxygen (1O2), nitric oxide (NO•), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the peroxyl radical (ROO•) , dimethylarsinic peroxyl radicals ((CH3)2AsOO•) and also the dimethylarsinic radical ((CH3)2As•)  in some studies though the mechanism for the generation of all these reactive species remains unclear. How do heavy metals get into our food chain? Most of the paints, dyes, soaps, metals, semi-conductors and drugs contain arsenic. Inactivation of p53 allows uncontrolled cell division and thus p53 gene disruption has been associated with most human cancers. Lead can impair learning and memory in the brain by inhibiting the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and can block neurotransmission by inhibit neurotransmitter release, block the neuronal voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels (VGCCs) and reduce the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic (arsenic is a metalloid, but is usually classified as a heavy metal). 1,, Kamgba F. A. Chromium (Cr), particularly Cr4+ has been shown in in vitro studies to generate free radicals from H2O2 . Lead has major effects on different parts of the body. In cases where the heavy metals have accumulated over time, a natural oral chelator such as HMD™ is the safest way of eliminating the heavy metals from body. Its effect on the human body can be both acute and chronic depending on dose and exposure scenarios. The element's harmful consequences on children health include mental retardation, neurocognitive disorders, behavioral disorders, respiratory problems, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. The third stage commences between 12 and 96 h after the onset of clinical symptoms and is characterized by hypotension, shocks, lethargy, hepatic necrosis, tachycardia, metabolic acidosis and may sometimes lead to death . The inorganic forms of arsenic such as arsenite and arsenate are found to be more dangerous to human health. 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