Heavy metals are natural components present in the earth crust. They are considered as age old toxic causing substances. They have been used by humans since thousands of years ago for specific purposes. Potential exposures to heavy metals include natural sources like industrial production, commercial products, folk remedies, contaminated foods and herbal products. Basically all heavy metals are toxic and dangerous to the living ecosystem. Metal contamination or exposure leads to various metabolic alterations and undesirable physical and genetical changes, which in many cases may cause cancer and other severe complications. Heavy metal toxicity can be a much more serious and tricky problem, as these are intrinsic components of the environment. Cadmium causes disturbances in calcium metabolism accompanied by softening of bones, fractures and skeletal deformations resulting upto a remarkable decrease in body height up to 30 cm. Over the centuries, arsenic has been used for various medical treatments. Hippocrates prescribed a paste of arsenic sulfide to treat skin conditions, but was found to be a slow posion. Heavy metal toxicity can be even caused due to automobiles. The smoke released contains highly carcinogenic substances, which include Zinc, lead and other metal particles. It contributes to 90% of the total pollution in the day to day life.
Last date updated on July, 2014