The mode of development that the worldand Indiahas followed has led to a situation where we are surrounded by numerous hazardous substances in our everyday lives, which affect the health of people, of other living creatures, and of the planet as a whole. Our Toxic World is an effort to shine a keen light on these substances, and suggest alternatives that will allow readers to improve the physical quality of their lives and of their environment.
Our Toxic World takes a series of peeks into the lives of the fictitious Sachdeva family and the people they come in contact with, examines the hazardous substances that affect us in our everyday lives, outlines the effect these materials can have on us, and suggests alternative routes that we can adopt.
Chapter 8: Heavy Metals: Trail of Destruction
Heavy Metals: Trail of Destruction
What are Heavy Metals?
The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl) and lead (Pb).
Heavy metals are natural components of the Earth's crust. They cannot be degraded or destroyed. To a small extent they enter our bodies via food, drinking water and air. As trace elements, some heavy metals (for example, copper, selenium, zinc) are essential to maintain the metabolism of the human body. However, at higher concentrations they can lead to poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning ...