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EESA10H3 (489)
Lecture 6

Week 6 Lecture

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Heavy Metals and Human HealthHeavy Metals Naturally occurring extracted from the earth in ore ground earths crustoDuring the processing metals can be released into the environment Wide environmental dispersion environmental impactssoil water airoThey may be consumed by living organismsoThrough the food through the air through the water Tendency to accumulate in select tissuesoWhen it enters the human organism usually it stays in specific tissues nails hair Toxic in even low concentrationsoMetals are extremely toxic ie lead mercury arsenictop 3Classification of metals1 Class A K Na Mg CaMacronutrients essential for biological processesneeded in big amounts Tend to form ionic bond Low toxicity2 Class B Hg Ti Pb Ag Au Nonessential elements Tend to form covalent bond Very toxic form soluble organometallics3 Borderline Cr Cu As Co Ni Zn Mn Fe MicronutrientsToxicityClass BBorderlineClass AMechanism of toxicity1 Blocking essential functional groups such as proteins or enzymes proteins cannot carry anything2 Displace other metals class B borderline3 Modifying the active conformation of biomolecules class BCoping Mechanisms Resistancespecies develop mechanisms not to uptake metal example Pb Tolerancethe capacity of species to withstand high level of metalso Internal detoxifying mechanisms Binding to nonsensitive compound structures Metabolic transformations to less toxic forms methilation of As in marine biotawwwnotesolutioncom
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