Dorne JL, Kass GE, Bordajandi LR, Amzal B, Bertelsen U, Castoldi AF, Heppner C, Eskola M, Fabiansson S, Ferrari P, Scaravelli E, Dogliotti E, Fuerst P, Boobis AR, Verger P. Gunawardena SA, Ranasinghe M, Ranchamali T, Dileka P, Gunawardana JW. Lower level exposure to arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, reduced production of erythrocytes and leukocytes and damage blood vessels, cause abnormal heart beat and pricking sensation in hands and legs. 83 Materials and methods 84 Ethics statement 85 Sheep used in these studies were cared as per outlined in the Guide for the Care and Use of Lead poisoning can be either acute or chronic. Metals are natural constituents that exist in the ecosystem. Also, lead has been shown to reduce the expression of key presynaptic proteins such as synaptobrevin (Syb) and synaptophysin (Syn) involved in vesicular neurotransmitter release [59, 60]. The severity of health effects of heavy metals is related to the type and chemical form of each particular contaminant, and is also depends on the exposure time and dose. Heavy metals can be found in traces in water sources and still be very toxic and impose serious health problems to humans and other ecosystems. Health effects of heavy metal toxicity in humans. Mercury is an element that can easily combine with other elements to form inorganic and organic mercury. Lead can decrease neurotransmission as long term exposure of rats to low levels of lead has shown reduction in the release of Ca2+-dependent glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the hippocampus [58, 59]. This article contains references to scientific journals and peer-reviewed research. Long-term exposure of the body to heavy metal can progressively lead to muscular, physical and neurological degenerative processes that are similar to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer’s disease. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. Exposure to elevated levels of metallic, inorganic and organic mercury can damage the kidney, brain and developing fetus [86] while methyl mercury is highly carcinogenic. The order of heavy metal in terms of their efficacy in folding inhibition is mercury > cadmium > lead and correlates with the relative stability of their monodentate complexes with imidazole, thiol and carboxylate groups in proteins [79]. Metal intoxication has a negative impact on human health and can alter different systems depending on metal type and concentration and duration of metal exposure. Due to man’s anthropogenic and industrial activities, it can accumulate in the soil and up taken by plants. However, in its free state, iron is one of the heavy metals generally known to generate hydroxyl radical (OH•) as shown below by the Fenton reaction. Heavy metal toxicity can either be acute or chronic effects. Heavy metals generated free radicals inside the cell selectively activates these transcription factors and thus, may suggest that cell proliferation or cell death may be related to the exposure to carcinogenic metals. Also, AP-1 and NF-κB family of transcription factors are involved in both cell proliferation and apoptosis, and also regulate p53. In the earth crust, these heavy metals are present in ores which are recovered during mining activities as minerals. During these mining activities, heavy metals are released from the ore and scattered in open in the environment; left in the soil, transported by air and water to other areas. As such, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has reduced the tolerable amount of lead in children’s blood from 25 to 10 μg/dL and recommended universal screening of blood lead for all children. 2020 Mar;30(3):167-176. doi: 10.1080/15376516.2019.1701594. Also, in vivo studies were able to show the detection of free radicals due to chromium in the liver and blood of animals. Also, long term accumulation of heavy metals in the body may result in slowing the progression of physical, muscular and neurological degenerative processes that mimic certain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease [6]. The impact of the heavy metals on aquatic organisms is due to the movements of pollutants from various diffuse or point sources which gives rise to coincidental mixtures in the ecosystem. Edited by Ozgur Karcioglu and Banu Arslan. Also, chronic arsenic exposure can promote the development of a number of cancers which include skin cancer, cancers of the bladder, lung, liver (angiosarcoma), and possibly the colon and kidney cancers [82]. Food chain polluted with toxic metals and metalloids is a significant path of human exposure and thus may cause a number of hazardous effects on human health. Also, humans may get exposed to cadmium by inhalation through incineration of municipal waste. Also, it can be found in food stuff such as imitation whip cream, unrefined grains and cereals, commercial peanut butter, hydrogenated vegetable oils, as well as contaminated alcoholic beverages [19]. The mechanism of free radical generation is specific to the type of heavy metal. Heavy metal is basically a toxic metal which could have a significant impact on your body. Iron is known to generate free radicals which are suggested to be responsible for asbestos related cancer. These transcription factors control the expression of protective genes that induce apoptosis, arrest the proliferation of damaged cells, repair damaged DNA and power the immune system [22]. The general population is primarily exposed to mercury via food, fish being a major source of methyl mercury exposure, and dental amalgam. Furthermore, manganese can oxidize dopamine (DA) to react with quinone species thereby disrupting the dopaminergic system (for review, see [70]). Heavy metals may be transported through erosion, run-off or acid rain to different locations on soils and water bodies. Manganism is a neurological disease due to manganese characterized by rigidity, action tremour, a mask-like expression, gait disturbances, bradykinesia, micrographia, memory and cognitive dysfunction, and mood disorder [96]. Elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cadmium has been implicated in promoting apoptosis, oxidative stress, DNA methylation and DNA damage. As such, heavy metal toxicity can have several consequences in the human body. Mercury exposure to pregnant women can affect the fetus and offspring may suffer from mental retardation, cerebellar symptoms, retention of primitive reflexes, malformation and other abnormalities [87]. In this review we summarized effects of various toxic metals on human health. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Unable to load your collection due to an error, Unable to load your delegates due to an error. Alongside these mechanisms, the noxious health effects of these heavy metals are discussed. Epub 2017 Aug 2. Mainly produced from industrial activities most hazardous heavy metals are- 1. arsenic (As) 2. lead (Pb) 3. mercury (Hg) 4. cadmium (Cd) 3. Human Health in Areas with Industrial Contamination Edited by: Pierpaolo Mudu, Benedetto Terracini and Marco Martuzzi. These include silicon, nickel, boron, and vanadium. Exposure to chromium compounds can result in the formation of ulcers such as nasal septum ulcer which are very common in chromate workers. Certain heavy metals such as copper, iron and cobalt can exist both as sulfide and oxide ores. Although there is no clear definition of what a heavy metal is, density is in most cases taken to be the defining factor. Environ Epidemiol. Occupational exposure to arsenic, primarily by inhalation, is causally associated with lung cancer. Heavy metals are persistent in nature, therefore get accumulated in soils and plants. The numbers in brackets correspond with the list of references at the end of the article. Lead is carried by red blood cells to the liver and kidney and subsequently redistributed to the teeth, bone and hair mostly as phosphate salt [20]. Kidney Cadmium Concentrations in an Urban Sri Lankan Population: an Autopsy Study. By Godwill Azeh Engwa, Paschaline Udoka Ferdinand, Friday Nweke Nwalo and Marian N. Unachukwu, Submitted: September 11th 2018Reviewed: November 13th 2018Published: June 19th 2019. The health effects of cadmium exposure are exacerbated due to the inability of the human body to excrete cadmium. Keyster M, Niekerk LA, Basson G, Carelse M, Bakare O, Ludidi N, Klein A, Mekuto L, Gokul A. Some heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, manganese, arsenic can enter the body through the gastrointestinal route; that is, through the mouth when eating food, fruits, vegetables or drinking water or other beverages. Iron salts such as iron sulfate, iron sulfate heptahydrate and iron sulfate monohydrate are of low acute toxicity when exposure is through dermal, oral and inhalation routes. Even though there are no immediate problems, heavy metals keep on accumulating in our body. Heavy metals are toxic to soil, plants, aquatic life and human health if their concentration is high in the compost.  |  Thus, lead exposure leads to reductions in IPSCs and EPSCs indicating a deficit in glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission systems. The Effects of Toxic Metals. Nickel has an extensive range of carcinogenic mechanisms which include regulation of transcription factors, controlled expression of certain genes and generation of free radicals. Heavy metal and human health 1. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. Heavy metal are hazardous to human health and degrade environment quality. The first of such observation was first presented by Bucher et al. Thus, heavy metals may induce carcinogenic effect by targeting a number of these proteins. growth due to phytotoxicity, and environmental health of soil organisms. BDNF activity is also dependent on Ca2+ and thus has been implicated in the development of neurological diseases. Prevalence of exposure of heavy metals and their impact on health consequences. We are IntechOpen, the world's leading publisher of Open Access books. Recently in the United States, the tolerable amount of arsenic in drinking water is 50 μg/liter but there is much concern of lowering this standard dose of population exposures to arsenic as the present dose is believed to increase the risk for cancer. In addition to the above reactions, the following reactions below can also occur: Hydroxyl radical (OH•) is the most common free radical generated by the oxidation of iron. Accepted 20 April, 2007 Some heavy metals have bio-importance as trace elements but, the biotoxic effects of many of them in human biochemistry are of great concern. Humans get in contact with arsenic through several means which include industrial sources such as smelting and microelectronic industries. For instance, cadmium can replace zinc in certain dehydrogenating enzymes, leading to cadmium toxicity. By making research easy to access, and puts the academic needs of the researchers before the business interests of publishers. Werder EJ, Engel LS, Curry MD, Sandler DP. This is because the toxicity level of a metal depends on factors such as the organisms which are exposed to it, its nature, its biological role and the period at which the organisms are exposed to the metal. Cadmium initially binds to blood cells and albumin, and subsequently binds to metallothionein in kidney and liver tissue. These are all naturally occurring substances which are often present in … which can readily bind to biological molecules such as proteins and enzymes to form stable and strong bonds. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. The DA reactive species are taken up by the dopamine transporter (DAT1) thus causing dopaminergic neurotoxicity [72]. It was also observed that when protein misfolded in the presence of heavy metals, the misfolded protein could not be rescued in the presence of reduced glutathione or EDTA chelator. The first stage which commences 6 h after iron overdose is marked by gastrointestinal effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and gastro-intestinal bleeding. Smith et al. These metals have hardly any These metals have hardly any biological role to play in the human body but on the contrary their toxic effect causes malfunctioning of the body system. Lead toxicity is targeted towards the memory and learning processes of the brain and can be mediated through three processes. in drinking water and their effects on human health [8]. Also, a methylated form of arsenic was shown to inhibit DNA repair processes and also generate ROS in liver and spleen as metabolic products [40]. In this study, lead, copper and nickel were the selected heavy metal. Heavy metals exhibit toxic effects towards soil biota by affecting key microbial processes and decrease the number and activity of soil microorganisms. Furthermore, when these heavy metals are used in the industries for various industrial purposes, some of these elements are released into the air during combustion or into the soil or water bodies as effluents. Exposure to arsenic is mainly via intake of food and drinking water, food being the most important source in most populations. Further, food chain polluted with toxic metals and metalloids is an important route of hu- man exposure and may cause several dangerous effects on human. rzo5017@psu.edu Vanadium is a heavy metal that occurs in various oxidative states and has been shown to generate free radical. This category of metals termed heavy metals have not only been known for their high density but most importantly for their adverse effects to the ecosystem and living organisms [3]. Heavy metal toxicity can either be acute or chronic effects. Heavy metal contamination has generated serious harm to the health of local farmers after passing through the food chain. Among the 35 natural existing metals, 23 possess high specific density above 5 g/cm3 with atomic weight greater than 40.04 and are generally termed heavy metals [1, 2]. The main sources of lead exposure include drinking water, food, cigarette, industrial processes and domestic sources. Vegetables constitute the most important daily diets in many of the households globally [21, 22]. The various toxic effects along with the signs and symptoms of some heavy metals in the human body will be discussed. The most common functional group that heavy metals bind is the thio groups (SH group of cysteine and SCH3 group of methionine). Tobacco is the main source of cadmium uptake in smokers and thus, smokers are more susceptible to cadmium intoxication than non-smokers [90]. The general population is exposed to lead from air and food in roughly equal proportions. Arsenic is distributed in blood and accumulates in heart, lung, liver, kidney, muscle and neural tissues and also in the skin, nails and hair. Author information: (1)Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802 Pennsylvania, USA. People exposed to heavy metals through water consumption are vulnerable to cancer and other risks. Cadmium displaces zinc and calcium ions from zinc finger proteins and metalloproteins [76, 77]. Arsenic has also been shown to generate free radicals such as superoxide (O2•–), singlet oxygen (1O2), nitric oxide (NO•), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the peroxyl radical (ROO•) [32], dimethylarsinic peroxyl radicals ((CH3)2AsOO•) and also the dimethylarsinic radical ((CH3)2As•) [33] in some studies though the mechanism for the generation of all these reactive species remains unclear. USA.gov. NIH Lead is one of the most potent heavy metal that poses significant threat to human health and the environment even in small quantity. Heavy metal music, arguably more than any other genre, has a reputation for the effect it has on its listeners’ behaviours and mental health. It is well documented that metal-induced generation of oxygen reactive species can attack polyunsaturated fatty acid such as phospholipids. The main mechanism of heavy metal toxicity include the generation of free radicals to cause oxidative stress, damage of biological molecules such as enzymes, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, damage of DNA which is key to carcinogenesis as well as neurotoxicity. Cadmium compounds are currently mainly used in re-chargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. In fact, their accumulation inside the body can cause severe health problems. Olmedo P, Pla A, Hernández AF, Barbier F, Ayouni L, Gil F. Environ Int. This reaction further promotes damage of the lipid molecule. HHS Vegetables constitute the most important daily diets in many of the households globally [ 21 , 22 ]. Other forms of mercury contamination in humans may be through anthropogenic activities such as municipal wastewater discharges, agriculture, incineration, mining, and discharges of industrial wastewater [13]. Therefore, significant human exposure to cadmium can be by the ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs especially cereals, grains, fruits and leafy vegetables as well as contaminated beverages [14, 15]. exposure to the lowest level known to have a plausible adverse health effect. When OH• reacts with guanine, a nitrogenous base of nucleic acids, it leads to the generation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-20-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) and 2,6-diamino-5-formamido-4-hydroxypyrimidine (FAPy-G), in which the former is a good marker for oxidative damage [23]. Arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium: Toxicity, levels in breast milk and the risks for breastfed infants. Even though there are no immediate problems, heavy metals keep on accumulating in our body. The effects of heavy metals on human metabolism. The Health Effects of Heavy Metal Music Written By Michael Greger M.D. How? Among the heavy metals, As, Cd and Pb have extensively been studied for their public health effects [2,8]. Toxicity of heavy metals depends on a lot of factors such as which metal is present, the nature of the metal, the biological role of the metal, the organism exposed and the period of the organisms life when it is exposed. As reviewed from [9], the sources of specific heavy metals are described below. We pride ourselves on being your source for the best, scientifically-accurate advice for healthy living. Determination of toxic elements (mercury, cadmium, lead, tin and arsenic) in fish and shellfish samples. Long-term exposure to cadmium leads to its deposition in bones and lungs. A school of thought produced a mechanism for iron-induced cancer whereby bile acids (deoxycholic acid), iron(II) complexes, vitamins K and oxygen interact to generate free radicals which induced oncogenic effect in the colon. The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. Other heavy metals found in drinking water such as lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium have no beneficial effects on your body. ABSTRACT In recent years, increasing attention has been focused on the health implications of large industrial establishments. In the above reaction, the oxidized heavy metal replaces the hydrogen of the SH group and the methyl of the SCH3 group thereby inhibiting the function of the protein or activity of the enzyme. Epub 2013 Jun 19. Even rice is known to contain high levels of arsenic. 2018 Jan;119(1):157-184. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26234. The influence of these heavy metals on plants and their metabolic activities caused by the geological and biological redistribution of heavy metals through pollution of the air, water and soil were briefly discussed in this article. Heavy metal-bound proteins may be a substrate for certain enzymes. Dimethylmercury is a very toxic compound that can penetrate the skin through latex gloves and its exposure at very low dose can cause the degeneration of the central nervous system and death. More so under physiological conditions at approximately pH of 7, V(IV) can generate OH• from the decomposition of H2O2 according to the Fenton reaction. 2000 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Written by Dr. Edward Group Founder Health Information You Can Trust . Arsenic exposure can lead to either acute or chronic toxicity. The p53 protein is an important protein in cell division as it guards a cell-cycle checkpoint and control cell division [35]. Biol Trace Elem Res. Reactions of Heavy metals with sulphydryl groups of proteins or enzymes (A) = Intramolecular bonding; (B) = Intermolecular bonding; P = Protein; E = Enzyme; M = Metal. Heavy metal may cause proteins to aggregate as arsenite-induced protein aggregation was observed and shown to be concentration-dependent. But, heavy metals are the most damaging chemicals in water. doi: 10.1097/EE9.0000000000000115. Organic mercury is lipophilic in nature and thus can easily penetrate cell membranes. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking-water is mainly related to increased risks of skin cancer, but also some other cancers, as well as other skin lesions such as hyperkeratosis and pigmentation changes. Lead is released into the atmosphere from industrial processes as well as from vehicle exhausts. Certain approaches like less exposure to carcinogenic factors can reduce the risk of most cancer types in human. Publishing on IntechOpen allows authors to earn citations and find new collaborators, meaning more people see your work not only from your own field of study, but from other related fields too. Heavy metals have industrial, domestic, agricultural, medical and technological applications, and as a result they are now widespread in our environment. Contact our London head office or media team here. Toxicity due to lead exposure is called lead poisoning. 2021 Jan 6. doi: 10.1007/s12011-020-02541-w. Online ahead of print. It is now suggested that inhibition of either NMDARs or VGCCs by lead would result in a significant decrease of Ca2+ influx into the cell. Experimental studies confirmed that copper is also capable of inducing DNA strand breaks and oxidation of bases via oxygen free radicals [27]. Therefore, measures should be taken to reduce cadmium exposure in the general population in order to minimize the risk of adverse health effects. Effects of Heavy Metals on Plants: The heavy metals have adverse effects on plants. Get the latest public health information from CDC: https://www.coronavirus.gov, Get the latest research information from NIH: https://www.nih.gov/coronavirus, Find NCBI SARS-CoV-2 literature, sequence, and clinical content: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sars-cov-2/. Risk assessment for the consumers. Plants (Basel). The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic (arsenic is a metalloid, but is usually classified as a heavy metal). This stage is marked by the development of strictures and formation of gastrointestinal ulcerations. Some heavy metals have bio-importance as trace elements but the biotoxic effects of many of them in human biochemistry are of great concern. Lead has been shown to be a potent, non-competitive antagonist of the NMDAR [50, 51, 52, 53], preferentially with high affinity at a regulatory site on the NR2A subunit [54]. As such, cadmium exposure can cause bone and lung damage [88]. Some sulfides may contain two or more heavy metals together such as chalcopyrite, (CuFeS2) which contains both copper and iron. It is because heavy metals ‘bio-accumulate’ in our body, which means that once heavy metal is absorbed, our body cannot get rid of it. Eight common heavy metals are discussed in this brief: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, and sil-ver. Keywords: Bioavailability, Contamination, Heavy metals, Human health, Metal toxicity. How Do Heavy Metals Affect Your Health? These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. This metal is mostly used in industries for the production of paints, pigments alloys, coatings, batteries as well as plastics. Heavy metal contamination has generated serious harm to the health of local farmers after passing through the food chain. Lead poisoning is mostly related to the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system in children and adults [83]. Exposure to elevated levels of manganese can result in neurotoxicity. This chapter will highlight on the various sources of heavy metals and the processes that promote their exposure and bioaccumulation in the human body. Precious metals have been used since ancient times by the Egyptians and in Ayurveda to cure various ailments as they are considered to provide innumerable health benefits. Lead can impair learning and memory in the brain by inhibiting the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) and can block neurotransmission by inhibit neurotransmitter release, block the neuronal voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels (VGCCs) and reduce the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). During the last century, lead emissions to ambient air have caused considerable pollution, mainly due to lead emissions from petrol. In the hippocampus, NMDAR is a neural receptor which consists of two or more subunits; an obligatory NR1 subunit and one or more subunits from the NR2 particularly NR2A, NR2B and NR3 families. Nevertheless, cancer is a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and premature death worldwide. Developing fetuses and children are most vulnerable to neurotoxic effects due to lead exposure. Regulatory limit of selected heavy metals. Human Health in Areas with Industrial Contamination 9 789289 050050 > ISBN 9789289050050. The following are commonly found contaminants, their sources, and their possible human health impacts. Background Those metals with a specific gravity of greater than 4.0. The equations of these reactions are shown below (see [74] for review) (Figure 2). Therefore it aims to highlight on biochemical mechanisms of heavy metal intoxication which involves binding to proteins and enzymes, altering their activity and causing damage. These heavy metals can be taken up through several routes. Also, occupational exposure to mercury as observed by researchers has been associated with measurable declines in performance on neurobehavioral tests of motor speed, visual scanning, visuomotor coordination, verbal and visual memory. 2020 Dec 4;4(6):e115. Since there is a risk to the fetus in particular, pregnant women should avoid a high intake of certain fish, such as shark, swordfish and tuna; fish (such as pike, walleye and bass) taken from polluted fresh waters should especially be avoided. 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Tin and arsenic even though there are no immediate problems, heavy metal toxicity get... 9 ], the sources of specific heavy metals in human biochemistry are of the central and peripheral nervous.... Should not be seen with naked eyes, but can be both acute and chronic depending on and... Elements which are often present in the human body be aware of glazed food containers in protein glycogen... R ( 1 ) Energy and Mineral Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 16802,., scientific progression element on earth and the margin is very narrow large. Health, metal toxicity has a slow degenerative effect on the human body needs a certain amount of heavy contamination! Disrupt neurotransmission by inhibiting the neuronal voltage-gated calcium ( Ca2+ ) channels ( VGCCs ) 61... Oxide ores gold and silver utensils and cutlery and used copper vessels to store and water! Either be acute or chronic toxicity proposed mechanism of free radicals due to high gastrointestinal uptake and the is! As vomiting, diarrhea and gastro-intestinal bleeding heavy metal-bound proteins may be through. Disturbances in calcium metabolism, formation of gastrointestinal ulcerations family of transcription factors are involved in both cell and...