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 . 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. These industries play a major role in chromium pollution with an adverse effect on biological and ecological species . Potential risk effect from elevated levels of soil heavy metals on human health in the Niger delta. The various toxic effects along with the signs and symptoms of some heavy metals in the human body will be discussed. As such, cadmium exposure can cause bone and lung damage . Epub 2013 Jun 19. As concentrations of the heavy metal increases, a wide range of health-related changes occur. 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. More so, lead exposure also impairs two postsynaptic currents; inhibitory post synaptic currents (IPSCs) and excitatory post synaptic currents (EPSCs) which are dependent on the release of presynaptic neurotransmitter such as glutamate and GABA. More so, the industrial products such as paints, cosmetics, pesticides, and herbicides also serve as sources of heavy metals. It is well documented that metal-induced generation of oxygen reactive species can attack polyunsaturated fatty acid such as phospholipids. 2000 Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Iron is a useful heavy metal in the human body as it is a constituent of certain biological molecules like the hemoglobin and involved in various physiological activities. Although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metals continues, and is even increasing in some parts of the world, in particular in less developed countries, though emissions have declined in most developed countries over the last 100 years. How Do Heavy Metals Affect Your Health? 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. 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 . They can be found in cosmetics, contaminated water, medications, household items, canned foods, cigarette smoke, and even in your favorite soft drink. 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. Factors affecting toxicity 1. Heavy metal are hazardous to human health and degrade environment quality. Additionally, metal-dependent damage to multiple organ systems can occur with primary targets being the kidneys, liver, brain and other rapidly dividing cells. Humans get in contact with arsenic through several means which include industrial sources such as smelting and microelectronic industries. Even low concentration of heavy metals may inhibit the physiological metabolism of plant. 2020 Nov 19;10(11):2151. doi: 10.3390/ani10112151. 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. 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 . Heavy metal contamination has generated serious harm to the health of local farmers after passing through the food chain. Summarized in Figure 4 is the various mechanisms of heavy metal intoxication. Thus, protein damaged are usually metal-catalyzed and involves oxidative scission, bityrosine cross links, loss of histidine residues, the introduction of carbonyl groups, and the formation of protein-centered alkyl (R•), alkoxyl (RO•) and alkylperoxyl (ROO•) radicals . Lead is a slightly bluish, bright silvery metal in a dry atmosphere. 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. Nickel can promote methylation of promoter and induce the down regulation of maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) thereby upregulating hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, two proteins which are known to be implicated in carcinogenesis . This radical lipid further propagates the formation of peroxyl lipid radical by reacting with dioxygen molecule or with a lipid. Some of these heavy metals such as cobalt, chromium, copper, magnesium, iron, molybdenum, manganese, selenium, nickel and zinc are essential nutrients that are required for various physiological and biochemical functions in the body and may result to deficiency diseases or syndromes if not in adequate amounts  but in large doses they may cause acute or chronic toxicities. They are substances with high electrical conductivity which voluntarily lose their electrons to form cations. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. In medical usage, heavy metals are loosely defined and include all toxic metals irrespective of their atomic weight: "heavy metal poisoning" can possibly include excessive amounts of iron, manganese, aluminum, mercury, or beryllium (the fourth lightest element) or such a semimetal as arsenic. Heavy metals are naturally present in our environment. In the plasma, vanadium (V) is rapidly reduced to vanadium (IV) by NADPH and ascorbic acid antioxidants which bind to plasma proteins for transportation . Cr(VI) is more hazardous than Cr(III) and other ionic forms in terms of its stability. Accumulation of Toxic Elements in Bone and Bone Marrow of Deer Living in Various Ecosystems. Human Health in Areas with Industrial Contamination Edited by: Pierpaolo Mudu, Benedetto Terracini and Marco Martuzzi. The heavy metals at exceedingly higher concentrations than the required physiological demand of vegetables can cause lethal effect in them as well as human health through food chain [4, 20]. Edited by Ozgur Karcioglu and Banu Arslan. Literature data show that in commercially available cosmetics toxic metals may be present in amounts creating a danger to human health. For example, the tumor suppressor gene-coded DNA was suppressed when arsenic was bound to methyl-transferase . It is also used to make copper intrauterine devices and birth control pills. More so, the carcinogenic effects of certain heavy metals have been related to the activation of redox-sensitive transcription factors such as AP-1, NF-κB and p53 through the recycling of electrons by antioxidant network. FACLM on December 7th, 2017 As I discussed in my video Music as Medicine , the stress-reducing effects of music appear to extend throughout the clinical spectrum—even … They reduces productivity, bring stunting in growth and loss in chlorophyll (chlorosis) and protein contents in higher aquatic plants These metals are incorporated permanently in plants and then are passed on to animals and human beings. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal. The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. The symptoms of manganism are very similar to that of Parkinson disease. Keywords: Bioavailability, Contamination, Heavy metals, Human health… The health effects of cadmium exposure are exacerbated due to the inability of the human body to excrete cadmium. The first of such observation was first presented by Bucher et al. Not many are aware of the impact of heavy metals on the human body. The human body can’t discharge these metals and they continue amassing inside the body. 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. Exposure to elevated levels of metallic, inorganic and organic mercury can damage the kidney, brain and developing fetus  while methyl mercury is highly carcinogenic. Effects of Heavy Metals on Plants: The heavy metals have adverse effects on plants. Also, cancers of the liver, skin, prostate and Kupffer cell were associated with Arsenic poisoning. Increased cadmium toxicity in this population was found to be associated with increased risk of bone fractures in women, as well as decreased bone density and height loss in males and females. 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. However, the proposed mechanism of mercury-induced cancer is through the generation of free radicals inducing oxidative stress thereby damaging biomolecules. More so, repeated long-term contact with some heavy metals or their compounds may even damage nucleic acids, cause mutation, mimic hormones thereby disrupting the endocrine and reproductive system and eventually lead to cancer . Lead is released into the atmosphere from industrial processes as well as from vehicle exhausts. The in vivo potency of these agents to trigger protein aggregation probably depends on the efficiency of their cellular uptake/export and on their distinct modes of biological action. 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