EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
Keywords:Human Health, Heavy Metal, Toxicity, Exposure effects
Some heavy metals have bio-importance as trace elements but the biotoxic effects of many of them in human biochemistry are of great concern. Hence, there is a need for proper understanding of mechanism involved, such as the concentrations and oxidation states, which make them harmful. It is also important to know their sources, leaching processes, chemical conversions and their modes of deposition in polluting the environment, which essentially supports life. Literature sources point to the fact that these metals are released into the environment by both natural and anthropogenic means, especially mining and industrial activities, and automobile exhausts. They leach into the underground waters, moving along water pathways and eventually depositing in the aquifer, or are washed away by run-off into surface waters thereby resulting in water and subsequently soil pollution. Poisoning and toxicity in ecosystem occur frequently through exchange and co-ordination mechanisms. When ingested, they form stable biotoxic compounds, thereby mutilating their structures and hindering bioreactions of their functions. This paper reviews certain heavy metals and their impact and biotoxic effects on man.
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