Health

7 Culprits That May Be Causing Heavy Metal Exposure

The environment today is rife with harmful toxins and saving oneself from them is a challenge bigger than ever. One of the toxins that you need to completely avoid is heavy metals, which are extremely harmful to human health. Unlike the essential metals such as iron, zinc, and copper which are absolutely essential for your body, the heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium can be fatal.

Lead, mercury and aluminum can affect the nervous system adversely while chromium, arsenic, and cadmium are carcinogenic in nature. Prolonged exposure to them is extremely dangerous and should be completely avoided. Since heavy metals can lead to such dangerous health problems, it is vital to know the ways they can enter your system so that you can prevent them and stay safe. Here are some culprits that can be responsible for heavy metal exposure.

Air

The primary source of heavy metal exposure is polluted air. Industrial activities such as metal production and burning of fossil fuels results in the air getting polluted with contaminants such as mercury, lead and cadmium. Consistent inhalation of these poisonous gases can have neurotoxic and carcinogenic effects in the long run. The fumes dispersed in the air can even make way into the soil and waterways when these vapors come in contact with them in the form of rain.

Water

Water is another route through which heavy metals can enter the human body. Industrial activity not only poisons the air but contaminates water as well, with toxins such as lead, copper, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium making way into the water bodies. Even if the water supply that reaches your home is treated, you cannot expect it to be completely pure. Drinking and using contaminated water can lead to an array of health issues, including liver and kidney damage, intestinal problems, cancer and developmental delays in children.

Food

Besides the air you inhale and water you drink, the food you eat may be laced with harmful heavy metals as well. This is because chemical fertilizers and pesticides contain high levels of lead, cadmium, and arsenic. The effect of these chemicals is compounded over a period of time and you may end up with some serious health conditions. Another food source of heavy metals in fish, which is the reason that people who consume seafood are at high risk. Mercury makes its way onto the oceans via industrial wastes. It enters the marine food chain and people who consume seafood are exposed to toxic heavy metals.

Cigarette smoke

Now that you understand the dire effects of heavy metals on your health, you would be more than willing to steer clear of them. Abstaining from smoking and reducing passive exposure to cigarette smoke is a good way to do so. Cigarette smoke is a toxic mix of pollutants like aluminum, lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. Whether you are an active smoker or a passive one, smoking can be extremely harmful because it results in the accumulation of toxins within your organs over a period of time.

Medications

Even while medicines are meant to cure diseases, they have their downsides as well and exposure to dangerous heavy metals is one of them. Pharmaceutical manufacturing involves the use of several metals, some of which may be harmful. Mercury, for instance, may be hiding ointments, nasal sprays, and contact lenses. Therefore, it becomes important to check the labels and buy only quality-certified medications of reputed brands.

Vaccines

Like medications, vaccines too can be a source of exposure to harmful heavy metals. Some of them may contain mercury as a preservative and aluminum as immune response booster. Before you get yourself or your loved ones vaccinated, ensure that the concoction is prepared ethically, without the use of any heavy metal as an ingredient.

Antiperspirants

If you think that your antiperspirant does a great job of making you smell good, beware because it can be toxic. These products contain aluminum to reduce sweating by clogging the skin pores. However, the same ingredient can cause extensive harm as this heavy metal has been linked with an elevated risk of liver disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Now that you know all about the ways in which the harmful heavy metals can enter your system, preventing the exposure becomes relatively easier. Though you cannot completely get rid of them because they are everywhere, still you can make conscious efforts to minimize their exposure. Being aware is a good prevention strategy that you must follow to prevent toxin-related diseases and increase your lifespan.

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I Started out in 1976 trying out to sing in bands but no bands were interested in me. In 1977 I started playing guitar. The individual that was teaching me (who for now will remain anonymous) told me that I would NEVER learn how to play guitar because I had no sense of rhythm. I joined my first band in 1978 called "Dead Center" in Jacksonville, Florida. I played an Aspen guitar, black; a Les Paul copy and in 1981. I gave that guitar to the teacher who said I'd never learn to play. I wrote my first song in 1979 or '80. Over the years I have been in many bands but my passion has been songwriting. I have written well over 100 songs and though the early ones were kind of rough around the edges, I think that most of them could be dusted off and given a new facelift. Today I am still working on my songs. Currently I can play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, harmonica, and Native American flute. The flutes that I play are ones that I made myself. My guitars are the Epiphone G-400 faded, an Ibanez RG370 DX, an Epiphone G 1275 double neck guitar. My acoustic guitars are an Alvarez 12 string and an old Kay guitar. My drum set is a Peace drum set. I do my recording on a Zoom HD16.
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