Anything consumed excessively can cause a myriad of problems. It’s particularly true when it comes to heavy metals. Minerals like iron and zinc are essential for the body to function correctly. However, excess consumption of these heavy metals can have detrimental consequences on your health.
Thus, concerns about the traces of heavy metals found in baby food, drinking water, certain saltwater fishes, and pesticides are warranted. Here are three different types of heavy metals that you should watch out for because they can negatively affect your health:
The widespread use of lead in the past has resulted in massive environmental contamination and significant health issues in humans, especially among children exposed to this toxic metal. Although authorities have already banned the use of lead in aviation, automotive fuels, and paint, it’s still used in batteries and even some toys.
Over the years, lead poisoning has been the subject of many courtroom battles, with victims being awarded substantial amounts of money for damages. If you have kids and are concerned about lead poisoning, you may need to seek legal action. To know where to start, visit this site right here.
How Lead Exposure Happens
Occupation is usually the primary source of lead exposure. So, those working in mining, recycling, and other jobs that entail burning lead-containing materials may be at risk. However, since lead is a naturally occurring material and used in things like batteries, people can also be exposed to this toxic metal through contaminated food, soil, dust, and even water from lead pipes. Young children are susceptible to lead poisoning via drinking water. It’s crucial to make sure your kids only drink from safe water sources.
Lead Exposure Symptoms
Newborns exposed to lead are prone to developmental problems, such as low birth weight and slow developmental growth. Learning difficulties, irritability, constipation, fatigue, abdominal pain, and even seizures are lead toxicity symptoms in children.
Even though lead poisoning is more prevalent in kids, it can also affect adults. Symptoms include memory and concentration difficulties, fertility problems, miscarriage, mood problems, high blood pressure, headaches, and muscle and joint pains.
Mercury is another heavy metal present in the environment. People usually get exposed by using products that contain mercury. You can find mercury in batteries, measuring devices, pharmaceuticals, lamps and bulbs, electrical relays and switches, and dental fillings. There are also traces in cosmetics, particularly skin-lightening products.
However, many people are more concerned about mercury found in shellfish and large saltwater fishes such as swordfish, tuna, and king mackerel because mercury buildup in the body can cause many health problems. As with any toxic metal, mercury exposure is detrimental among young children. In adults, continued exposure or a high concentration of mercury in the body can pose adverse effects in the digestive, nervous, and immune systems.
Mercury can affect the kidneys, lungs, eyes, and skin. Symptoms of acute mercury poisoning that you should be aware of include muscle weakness, nerve damage in the face and hands, speech and hearing impairment, and even vision changes.
A lesser-known heavy metal that’s known to be toxic to humans is cadmium. It’s a by-product of zinc. People usually get exposed to this element through the environment and occupation. In World War I, cadmium was a substitute for tine and used as a pigment by paint companies. These days, this material is utilized in products like alkaline and rechargeable batteries and tobacco processing.
Since cadmium is present in the environment, plants can get this metal through the soil. You can ingest trace amounts of cadmium from exposed plants. However, don’t be afraid to eat veggies because cadmium poisoning is not prevalent in the general population.
The most common means to get exposed to this heavy metal in lethal amounts are ingestion and inhalation. It’s important to note that once cadmium is ingested or inhaled, it stays in the body and slowly accumulates until it reaches a toxicity point, which can severely affect the body.
Acute ingestion or inhalation of cadmium can cause flu-like symptoms. These may include muscle pain, fever, and chills. In extreme cases, it can even cause lung damage. Meanwhile, chronic cadmium exposure may lead to bone, lungs, and even kidney diseases. A simple urine test will help determine the level of cadmium in your body.
Lead, mercury, and cadmium are three substances that are considered common culprits of heavy metal poisoning in humans. People expose themselves to these elements in their workplace. That said, the general population can still have a buildup of heavy metals through food and products containing trace amounts of such materials.
Heavy metal poisoning can lead to severe effects, particularly in children. Besides getting medical help, you may need to talk to a lawyer to know if there are legal remedies you can take in case of metal poisoning caused by malpractice or negligence.