Monday, April 9, 2012

Metal Toxicity: Our Daily Toxic Intake - April 09, 2012
Metallic toxins, the cause of several problems. Bhalchandra Gokhale suggests how to deal with them.

Metals are an indispensable part of mankind’s history and form the backbone of human civilisation. Initially, only metals like gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron and mercury were used; but the Industrial Revolution heralded an age of unprecedented metal use. At present, 86 base metals are known. More than 50 of these are used in industrial manufacturing. Slowly, metallic elements have begun to find their way into the human body. With the build up of metallic elements, their toxic reactions became more pronounced. One of the earliest metals known to be toxic to human body was lead. Mercury, despite its toxic nature, was used in treatments of acute and chronic infections and diseases like syphilis. 

While studying the correlation between metal poisoning and occupations, researchers found that use of certain metals is related to particular symptoms. Currently, nearly 60 elements are found in the human body. About 25 elements are found to be toxic, even at low concentrations. Toxic elements are of two types: common and scarce. The terms are not used to indicate how common the metal is but on how many occasions the toxicity of the element is found in patients. Common toxic metals are: aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and thallium. Scarce toxic metals are antimony, barium, beryllium, bismuth, cerium, gadolinium, gallium, gold, osmium, palladium, platinum, polonium, silver, tellurium, thorium, tin and uranium. Since the density of most of these metals is more than five, their toxicity is often called ‘Heavy Metal Toxicity’ defined as an excessive build-up of metals in the body. 

No comments:

Trending Now