Various metals are present anywhere in our surroundings. Some are natural flora of the environment, and some are caused by human waste material, and most of the time are caused by pollution.
Heavy metals are a relatively similar group of metals that have everyday uses. Heavy metals can be notably toxic to health, and some are essential elements too and plays a vital role in many aspects of life.
Though it has no exact meaning in chemistry, heavy metal is used to describe it by using quantitative criteria that measure the atomic weight, atomic number, and density level of heavy metals.
Some heavy metals like manganese, cadmium, copper, zinc, and irons have essential benefits in our body that aids in effective bodily functions.
What are the different kinds of heavy metal, and what are their uses?
There are different kinds of heavy metals that are useful not only to our health but also to different aspects of our lives. Some of the practical benefits of heavy metals used in our daily lives are lead, iron, tungsten, and copper.
These heavy metals are used in certain industries. For example, tungsten and copper are used to make golf balls, and iron is used to make buildings, lead creates plastic containers, and many more.
Heavy metals such as gold, platinum-palladium, and uranium can be used as conductive coatings for electron introduction in some fields. Manganese and zinc are abundantly found in food like vegetables, and fruits also play an important role in keeping us healthy.
Are heavy metals safe for our health?
Though useful indeed, these heavy metals can be toxic to our health as well. When consumed more than the trace amount the body needs, some heavy metal such as iron causes a certain disorder in the blood.
Medically known as Hemochromatosis, a condition wherein red blood cell production increases in the body is iron overload.
Although the signs and symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, and joint pain are the same as in Iron Deficiency Anemia or IDA, only blood tests can verify whether the disorder is hemochromatosis or iron deficiency anemia.
Iron, heavy metal can turn clear water to brown and gives water a foul odor. Iron is also one of the leading causes of sediments and turbidity in water. Lead and copper, both in the same group of heavy metals, can also be toxic to our health.
Lead and copper are commonly used to manufacture toys. By accident, sometimes, children swallow toys made out of lead or copper and cause acute heavy metal poisoning.
The signs and symptoms of acute heavy metal poisoning are nausea and vomiting, numbness and confusion that can sometimes lead to coma.
When people are exposed to heavy metal toxicity due to pollution and radiation for an extended period can also lead to chronic heavy metal poisoning. In chronic heavy metal poisoning, the symptoms can be severe.
Some of the symptoms felt are weakness, fatigue, constipation, and muscle and joint pain. Chronic heavy metal poisoning can hardly be detected because it develops slowly.
How can we treat heavy metal poisoning?
Nowadays, there are significant ways to test and treat heavy metal poisoning. The most common way to treat heavy metal poisoning is the Chelation Challenge Test, most commonly called the “Provoked Urine Test.”
With this test, chelators, the chemicals designed to attach heavy metals in our body, are used and are given by mouth or intravenously and are excreted through urine.
There are some tests available nowadays that can check the level of heavy metal toxicity in the body without undergoing invasive procedures.
Since metal is used in different products, there is a possibility that heavy metals can be found in water.
We know that the water that goes through the public water system uses copper and lead pipes and even pipes made of hard plastic.
This can be one of the sources of heavy metals in drinking water too. If the accumulation of heavy metals in drinking water is more than the trace amount the body needed, this can cause toxicity to our body.
The question is, “how can we assure ourselves that we are not exposed to heavy metals?”
There is no proof that exposure to heavy metals in the body can lead to death. Though it can lead to chronic heavy metal poisoning, it develops over a long period.
Even though heavy metal toxicity is the primary cause, death only happens due to complications in untreated heavy metal poisoning.
How can we treat contaminated drinking water?
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” Being a family member, we have to make sure that their health is maintained or, better yet improved, to function effectively and make sure that they are receiving the best and are free from disease.
Since water is a vital source of life and is one of the causes of diseases, we have to make sure that the water they drink is free from a microorganism, free from turbidity and heavy metals, thus keeping the family's safety.
Berkey is scientifically tested to filter out and remove these substances in water.
Berkey can purify water to its most apparent state, thus killing those disease-causing microorganisms, filtering out the haziness in water caused by sediments, and, most importantly, removing heavy metals that are toxic to health present in water.
Now you can make sure that there can never be silent killers at home, and they can always be safe.