Heavy metals are elements naturally found on Earth. They’ve different uses for construction, medicine, agriculture, and science. However, some dangers come with them if mishandled or misused. There are heavy metals that are extremely toxic that in a long duration of exposure may lead to death unless mitigated immediately.
Heavy metal poisoning occurs when the human body absorbs trace amounts of these heavy metals. Accidents and misinformation often cause them. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Here’s the basic information about heavy metal poisoning that you should know.
- Contact Points
It’s essential to note that dangerous heavy metals may just be one meter away from contact. Reading and learning about the contact points through an informative post would be of great help as they can be closer than you think. This is because heavy metals are also used for household products and even in body treatments.
The products that have high chances of becoming contact points are as follows:
Household Cleaning Products – Most household products are infused with toxic materials aside from heavy metals, which makes them worse. Due to that, they always come with a “Keep out of reach of children” note.
Consumer Products – Believe it or not, consumer beauty products can be toxic. Lipsticks, hair dyes, and deodorants are some which may be infused with toxic heavy metals.
Dental Amalgams – Dental treatments like dental implants may be dangerous too. In time, these treatments will decay, and the metals may seep through and be absorbed by the body.
Building Products – Homes and offices may be furnished with asbestos and lead-containing paints. These are primarily discouraged in some countries due to the dangers, but some still allow them despite the warnings.
- General and Metal-Specific Symptoms
The general symptoms that can be noticed when there’s a heavy metal poisoning tare the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling in your hands and feet
However, some symptoms are innate to specific toxic heavy metals. The most common heavy metal that may cause poisoning is Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, and Cadmium. For Mercy, the symptoms may include lack of coordination, muscle weakness, hearing loss, speech impairment, facial and carpal nerve damage, vision problems, and walking troubles.
Moreover, the prospect causes of mercury poisoning are highly related to the working environment where heavy metal is likely to be found. These operating environments include mining, production, and transportation of mercury; mining and refining metal ores; manufacturing of mirrors, X-ray machines, and incandescent lights. Also, the consumption of contaminated fish or water is a probable cause.
On the other hand, Lead poisoning may exhibit constipation, aggressive behavior, sleeping difficulties, headaches, fatigue, memory loss, anemia, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, among others. The causes of this type of heavy metal poisoning may be due to the following:
- Residence in a house with high levels of lead-based paint
- Industrial construction work
- Presence in firing ranges
- Use of kohl cosmetics
- Application of hair dyes
- Use of foreign digestive remedies
For Arsenic poisoning, the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen skin, warts and lesions, unnatural heart rhythm, and muscle cramps. The possible environments with a high chance of poisoning include hazardous waste sites, high levels of rocks, water, soil, ingestion of chemicals, and consumption of contaminated seafood and water.
And lastly, the symptoms of Cadmium poisoning are fever, breathing problems, and muscle pain. It’s mainly acquired by working in industrial sites.
To determine what kind of heavy metal poisoning the patient is suffering from, doctors usually perform blood tests. However, suppose the results show low levels of trace amounts. In that case, other tests may be required, such as Kidney Function Test, Liver Function Test, Urine Analysis, Hair Analysis, Fingernail Analysis, Electrocardiograms, and X-rays.
There are two effective primary treatments for heavy metal poisoning. The first is less exposure. Simply stay away from environments where toxic heavy metals are present. The body can clean itself in due time. However, if the condition is severe, they might as well go for Chelation therapy. It’s a medical procedure meant to bind the heavy metals present inside the body.
- Heavy Metal Detox
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) disapproves of heavy metal detox. Instead of helping, it has counterproductive effects like allergic reactions, kidney injuries, and congenital disabilities.
In every action, safety first. This is most imperative for those who work in hazardous environments with high possible contact with heavy metals. Metal poisoning can be fatal if not treated correctly and immediately. Symptoms may vary and it’s best to know all about the possibilities before exposing oneself to these types of places and activities.