Textbook Notes - Chap 4

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Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Chapter 4Human Health and Heavy Metal ExposureMetals are notable for their wide environmental dispersion from such activity their tendency to accumulate in select tissue of the body and their overall potential to be toxic even at relatively minor levels of exposure Some metals such as iron and copper are essential life and play a big role However some metals are xenobiotics they have no useful role in human physiology One of the reflection of the importance of metals relative to other potential hazards in their making by the US agency for toxic substances and disease registry ATSDR which lists the hazards present in toxic waste sites according to their prevalence and severity of their toxicityThe first second third and sixth hazards respectively on the list are heavy metals lead mercury arsenic and cadmium Exposure to metals can occur through a variety of routes metals may be inhaled as dust or fumes Some metals can be vaporized and inhaled Metals can also be ingested involuntarily from food and drinkThe amount of actually absorbed from the digestive tract can vary widely depending on the chemical form of the metal and the age and nutrional status of the individual Once a metal is absorbed it distributes in tissues and organs Excretion typicall
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