Various metals are present anywhere in our surrounding. Some are a natural flora of the environment and some are caused by human waste material and most of the time is caused by pollution.
Heavy metals are relatively similar group of metals that has mundane uses. Heavy metals can be notably toxic to health and some are essential elements too and plays a vital role in any aspects of life.
Though it has no exact meaning in chemistry, the way that heavy metal is used to describe is by using quantitative criteria that measures the atomic weight, atomic number and the density level of heavy metals.
Some of the 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 metal that is useful not only to our health but also to different aspects of our lives. Some of the useful 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, iron is used to make buildings and lead creates plastic containers and many more.
In some fields, heavy metals such as gold, platinum palladium and uranium can be used as conductive coatings for electron introduction. Manganese and zinc are abundantly found in food like vegetables and fruits also play an important role to keep us healthy.
Are heavy metals safe for our health?
Though useful indeed, these heavy metals can be toxic to our health as well. Some heavy metal such as iron, when consumed more than the trace amount the body needs, causes a certain disorder in the blood.
Medically known as Hemochromatosis, a condition where in red blood cell production increases in the body, is due to 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 test can verify if the disorder is either hemochromatosis or iron deficiency anemia.
Iron, a heavy metal as well, 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 as well, can also be toxic in 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 the occurrence of 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 in a long period of time 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 due to the fact that 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 ChallengeTest or most commonly called as “Provoked Urine Test”.
With this test, chelators, the chemicals that are designed to attach heavy metals in our body, are used and is given by mouth or intravenously and are excreted through urine.
Though there are some tests available nowadays that is able to 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.
For all we know, the water that goes through the public water system are using 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 the exposure of heavy metal in the body can lead to death, though it can lead to chronic heavy metal poisoning but it develops over a long period of time.
Even though heavy metal toxicity is the primary cause, death only happens due to complications that occurred in untreated heavy metal poisoning.
How can we treat contaminated drinking water?
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Being a member of the family, we have to make sure that their health is maintained or better yet improved to function effectively and making 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 are free from microorganism, free from turbidity and heavy metals thus keeping the safety of the family.
Berkey is scientifically tested to filter out and remove these substances in water.
Berkey can purify water to its clearest state thus killing those disease-causing microorganisms, filter out the haziness in water caused by sediments and most importantly remove heavy metals that are toxic to health that are present in water.
Now you can make sure that at home, there can never be silent killers and they can always be safe.