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effects of heavy metals on human health

Thus, heavy metals may induce carcinogenic effect by targeting a number of these proteins. Effects of Heavy Metals on Plants: The heavy metals have adverse effects on plants. Thus, cadmium exposure can cause renal dysfunction and kidney disease. We reviewed recent studies on body burdens and human health effects of heavy metals from the major e-waste recycling sites in China. However, other forms of iron are of serious health problems. Non-smokers are exposed to cadmium via food and some other pathways. These metals have hardly any 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. 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. Environmental pollution by heavy metals that are produced by the combustion of hydrocarbons is a public health problem, which affects different organs such as central nervous system have resulted in behavior, learning, mental disorders, attention deficit and low mental performance [92-94]. By making research easy to access, and puts the academic needs of the researchers before the business interests of publishers. Cadmium is a metal of the 20th century. Lead is carried by red blood cells to the liver and kidney and subsequently redistributed to the teeth, bone and hair mostly as phosphate salt [20]. Heavy metals are thus commonly defined as those having a specific density of more than 5 g/cm3. In most ores heavy metals such as arsenic, iron, lead, zinc, gold, nickel, silver and cobalt exist as sulfides while others such as manganese, aluminum, selenium gold, and antimony exist as oxides. Mercury is released into the environment by the activities of various industries such as pharmaceuticals, paper and pulp preservatives, agriculture industry, and chlorine and caustic soda production industry. The various health effects of some heavy metals will be highlighted below. Cadmium weakens the immune system to allow encroachment by bacteria, viruses, fungi, worms, parasites and malignant tumors. The p53 protein is an important protein in cell division as it guards a cell-cycle checkpoint and control cell division [35]. In vitro studies have shown arsenic to alter the expression of p53 protein which also led to decreased expression of p21, one downstream target [38]. It is also used to make copper intrauterine devices and birth control pills. Several signaling proteins or cellular regulatory proteins that participate in apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, DNA methylation, cell growth and differentiation are targets of heavy metals [34]. Some studies have suggested that methylmercury may cause cancer in humans, but the results are inconclusi… 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). Also, cadmium exposure can cause disturbances in calcium metabolism, formation of renal stones and hypercalciuria. Certain heavy metals such as copper, iron and cobalt can exist both as sulfide and oxide ores. 1,, Kamgba F. A. Three sampling sites associated with heavy anthropogenic activities along the course of the river were sampled. Organic mercury is lipophilic in nature and thus can easily penetrate cell membranes. Lead can decrease neurotransmission as long term exposure of rats to low levels of lead has shown reduction in the release of Ca2+-dependent glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the hippocampus [58, 59]. Certain strategies for minimizing carcinogenic factors’ exposure can reduce the risk of most cancer types in human. Author information: (1)Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802 Pennsylvania, USA. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Dimethylmercury is a very toxic compound that can penetrate the skin through latex gloves and its exposure at very low dose can cause the degeneration of the central nervous system and death. Heavy metals concentrations were determined in the samples using atomic … However, the proposed mechanism of mercury-induced cancer is through the generation of free radicals inducing oxidative stress thereby damaging biomolecules. Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. As such, the product of the substrate is not formed as the enzyme is blocked and therefore, the heavy metal remains embedded in the tissue leading to dysfunctions, abnormalities and damages in the body. As such, heavy metal toxicity can have several consequences in the human body. The human body requires extremely trace amounts of a few metals, but too often the concern is with getting too much, rather than too little. Metal intoxication has a negative impact on human health and can alter different systems depending on metal type and concentration and duration of metal exposure. As such, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has reduced the tolerable amount of lead in children’s blood from 25 to 10 μg/dL and recommended universal screening of blood lead for all children. Toxicity due to lead exposure is called lead poisoning. Heavy metals are toxic to soil, plants, aquatic life and human health if their concentration is high in the compost. These industries play a major role in chromium pollution with an adverse effect on biological and ecological species [16]. 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 [93]. Nickel has an extensive range of carcinogenic mechanisms which include regulation of transcription factors, controlled expression of certain genes and generation of free radicals. Experimental studies confirmed that copper is also capable of inducing DNA strand breaks and oxidation of bases via oxygen free radicals [27]. Once in the environment, mercury can be … A toxic heavy metal is any relatively dense metal or metalloid that is noted for its potential toxicity, especially in environmental contexts. Heavy metals can damage and alter the functioning of organs such as the brain, kidney, lungs, liver, and blood. Exactly how risky a metal can depend on several factors, including the dose and means of exposure. It is because heavy metals ‘bio-accumulate’ in our body, which means that once heavy metal is absorbed, our body cannot get rid of it. There are aluminum additives in cheese products, baking powder, deodorants, antacids, lipstick and other cosmetics, hair spray, pizza, cake mixes and more. Heavy metals are toxic to soil, plants, aquatic life and human health if their concentration is high in the compost. What a perfect combination! One of the natural heavy metal detox products that has been scientifically tested in double-blind, placebo controlled trials is HMD™ – you can read the science behind the product to see the details of the study. The main sources of lead exposure include drinking water, food, cigarette, industrial processes and domestic sources. Such replacement can convert the enzyme structurally to an inactive form and completely alter its activity. Furthermore, manganese can oxidize dopamine (DA) to react with quinone species thereby disrupting the dopaminergic system (for review, see [70]). Lead has a special affinity for brain gray matter. Metal poisoning occurs as a result of the unhealthy accumulation of specific metals in the body. Iron is known to generate free radicals which are suggested to be responsible for asbestos related cancer. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems. Most environmental scientists studying this problem are of the view that the current tolerable limit of arsenic in drinking water or food be reduced. As long ago as 2007, the World Health Organization stated that heavy metals accumulated in the environment, “. Mechanisms of heavy metal intoxication in humans. It is because heavy metals ‘bio-accumulate’ in our body, which means that once heavy metal is absorbed, our body cannot get rid of it. Several heavy metals are found naturally in the earth crust and are exploited for various industrial and economic purposes. It is used in the production of batteries, nickel-plated jewelry, machine parts, nickel plating on metallic objects, manufacture of steel, cigarette smoking, wire, electrical parts, etc. Acute arsenic poisoning can lead to the destruction of blood vessels, gastrointestinal tissue and can affect the heart and brain. Chronic arsenic toxicity is characterised by pigmentation and keratosis with specific skin lesions. 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. Lead is released into the atmosphere from industrial processes as well as from vehicle exhausts. Heavy metal and human health 1. Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and premature death worldwide. Coffee tends to aggravate the brain problem, as caffeine increases stomach hydrochloric acid levels. Long-term exposure can lead to the formation of skin lesions, pulmonary disease, neurological problems, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular disease [82]. Tests can be performed to determine the presence of nickel in the body but the resulting adverse health effects cannot be predicted. People exposed to heavy metals through water consumption are vulnerable to cancer and other risks. Short-term exposure to high levels of metallic mer- cury vapors may cause lung damage, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increases in blood pressure or … Its effect on the human body can be both acute and chronic depending on dose and exposure scenarios. Publishing on IntechOpen allows authors to earn citations and find new collaborators, meaning more people see your work not only from your own field of study, but from other related fields too. It is a byproduct of zinc production. Lead has been used for at least … This has been shown in animal studies were manganese exposure has led to specific deficits in the dopaminergic system [71]. Environmental Pollution of the Soil by Heavy Metals at a Dumpsite Located at Esuk Utan, Calabar, CRS, Nigeria. Heavy metal pollution and human biotoxic effects Duruibe, J. O.1*, Ogwuegbu, M. O. C.2 and Egwurugwu, ... College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Imo State University, P. M. B. Although these heavy metals are present in the ecosystem, their exposure to humans is through various anthropogenic activities of man. 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. By Enoch F. Sam, David K. Blay, Samuel Antwi, Constance Anaafi and Juliet A. Adoma. The exposure of heavy metals to humans involve various diverse forms through food and water consumption, inhalation of polluted air, skin contact and most important by occupational exposure at workplace. Long-term exposure can lead to the formation of skin lesions, internal cancers, neurological problems, pulmonary disease, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension and cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. (An Also, heavy metal toxicity may be induced by the replacement of a metallo-enzyme by another metal ion of similar size. Heavy metal toxicity can have several health effects in the body. When OH• reacts with guanine, a nitrogenous base of nucleic acids, it leads to the generation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-20-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) and 2,6-diamino-5-formamido-4-hydroxypyrimidine (FAPy-G), in which the former is a good marker for oxidative damage [23]. How do heavy metals get into our food chain? The element's harmful consequences on children health include mental retardation, neurocognitive disorders, behavioral disorders, respiratory problems, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Long-term exposure to cadmium leads to its deposition in bones and lungs. Keywords: Heavy metal, toxicity, effect on plants, heavy metal … Lead poisoning can be either acute or chronic. Lead can disrupt transcription processes by replacing zinc in certain regulatory proteins [42]. This category of metals termed heavy metals have not only been known for their high density but most importantly for their adverse effects to the ecosystem and living organisms [3]. The potential ecological and human health risk of heavy metal pollution in sediment and Benthic Fauna (Chrysichthys auratus and Tympanotonus fuscatus) of Benin River, Southern Nigeria, was evaluated. Drinking water may be contaminated with arsenic which is present in wood preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and paints [10]. Arsenic exposure can lead to either acute or chronic toxicity. The concentration of heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, iron, cobalt, manganese, chromium, nickel, zinc, and copper often exceed the maximum permissible limit recommended by standard organization of Nigeria and World Health Organization. Acute exposure mainly occurs in the place of work and in some manufacturing industries which make use of lead. GMG DA VINCI HEALTH LTD Panayia Aimatousa 300 Aradippou 7101, Larnaca Cyprus, © GMG Da Vinci Health Ltd. All Rights Reserved, 2020 |. These are all naturally occurring substances … Metals become toxic when the quantity is too high and it takes very little to be too much. Heavy metals and metalloids (e.g., Hg, As, Pb, Cd, and Cr) can disturb human metabolomics, contributing to morbidity and even mortality. For example, some heavy metals inhibit the cellular function, which is to protect the organism from oxidative damage, reducing the effectiveness of this antioxidant defense system for detoxification. The in vivo potency of these agents to trigger protein aggregation probably depends on the efficiency of their cellular uptake/export and on their distinct modes of biological action. Most of the paints, dyes, soaps, metals, semi-conductors and drugs contain arsenic. During these mining activities, heavy metals are released from the ore and scattered in open in the environment; left in the soil, transported by air and water to other areas. More so, the mechanism by which heavy metals cause neurotoxicity, generate free radical which promotes oxidative stress damaging lipids, proteins and DNA molecules and how these free radicals propagate carcinogenesis are discussed. Effects of Heavy Metals on Plants: The heavy metals have adverse effects on plants. But, heavy metals are the most damaging chemicals in water. The implications of heavy metals with regards to children's health have been noted to be more severe compared to adults. Potential risk effect from elevated levels of soil heavy metals on human health in the Niger delta. One of the best and safest ways of protecting yourself against these detrimental heavy metals is to use a natural heavy metal detox formulation that has been tested and known to work. There are 23 heavy metals that are of concern to the health of humans: antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, and zinc. Through three processes of metallic, organic and inorganic mercury can exist in a dry atmosphere ROS [ 36 37! Through erosion, run-off or acid rain to different locations on soils and water bodies the paints,,... 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