What are heavy metals?

What are heavy metals?

What are heavy metals?

Heavy metals are a group of elements that have a high atomic weight and a density at least 5 times greater than that of water. Some examples of heavy metals include:

  • Lead: commonly found in paint, pipes, and gasoline
  • Mercury: found in thermometers, dental fillings, and some types of fish
  • Cadmium: found in batteries, pigments, and metal coatings
  • Arsenic: found in pesticides, herbicides, and treated wood
  • Chromium: found in stainless steel, alloys, and pigments
  • Aluminum: found in cookware, foil, and cans

Heavy metals can be toxic to living organisms when they are present in high concentrations. They can cause a range of health problems, including damage to the nervous system, kidneys, and liver. Long-term exposure to heavy metals can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Heavy metals can also be found in industrial waste, mining and smelting activities, pesticides and fertilizers, contaminated water and food, old plumbing, and some traditional medicines. It is important to be aware of potential sources of heavy metal exposure and to take steps to reduce or eliminate exposure.

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