Environment Research & Heavy Metals: A Toxic Relationship

Environment Research & Heavy Metals: A Toxic  Relationship


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  • Source: Abdos Labtech Pvt Ltd

  • Date: 30 Sep,2021

What are heavy metals?
Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements & are a group of metals and metalloids that have relatively high density and are toxic even at ppb levels. Examples include Pb, As, Hg, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe, Cr, Ni, Pd, and Pt. Multiple industrial, domestic, agricultural, medical and technological applications have led to their wide distribution in the environment; raising concerns over their potential effects on human health and the environment. Their toxicity depends on several factors including the dose, route of exposure, and chemical species, as well as the age, gender, genetics, and nutritional status of exposed individuals. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure.

They are also classified as human carcinogens (known or probable) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This review provides an analysis of their environmental occurrence, production and use, potential for human exposure, and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. The potential intake of the toxic metal can be estimated on the basis of the level of its presence in the product and the recommended or estimated dosage of the product. This potential exposure can then be put into a toxicological perspective by comparison with the so-called provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) values for toxic metals, which have been established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the World Health Organization (FAO-WHO) (De Smet, 1999; WHO, 1981, 1979). Many pharmacopoeias contain heavy metal detection methods that are usually based on color reactions with special reagents such as thioacetamide or diethyldithiocarbamate, and the amount present is estimated by comparison with a standard (WHO, 1988a).

Why carry out heavy metals testing and analysis?
Interestingly, small background levels of these elements are common in the environment but large amounts of any of them may cause acute or chronic toxicity (poisoning). This is why regular heavy metals testing and analysis especially within industry is so important. Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs. Featured Article Microbioz India, September 2021 Edition | 27 Long-term exposure may result in slowly progressing physical, muscular, and neurological degenerative processes that mimic Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and multiple sclerosis. Allergies are not uncommon and repeated long-term contact with some metals or their compounds may even cause cancer.

Environmentally Relevant Most Hazardous HMs and Metalloids

Heavy metals are among the most investigated environmental pollutants. Almost any heavy metal and metalloid may be potentially toxic to biota depending upon the dose and duration of exposure. Many elements are classified into the category of heavy metals, but some are relevant in the environmental context. List of the environmentally relevant most toxic heavy metals and metalloids contains Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, Hg, and As. Heavy metal pollutants most common in the environment are Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb. In 2009, Many reports has suggested four metals, i.e., Cr, Cd, Pb, Hg, and the metalloid As, as the highest priority pollutants for control. Some other heavy metals are also hazardous to living organisms depending upon dose and duration of exposure. For example, Mansouri et al. have found Ag as more toxic than Hg to a freshwater fish.

How Important Is Trace Metals Analysis in Your Specimen Samples?
We at Abdos realized the fact that collection and transport of your samples have to be organized in Trace metal-free collection lab ware. And if a specimen is received in a non-metal-free container, abnormal results or false positives will be reported. Hence Abdos has come up with the idea of Maxi RCF Trace metal-free centrifuge tubes that are free of 18 different Trace metals.

1.Abdos maxiRCFTM Trace Metal Free centrifuge tubes are manufactured using high purity virgin USP Class VI Medical grade polypropylene, conforming to US FDA 21 CFR, free from natural rubber & heavy metal.
2.Abdos maxiRCFTM Trace Metal Free Centrifuge Tubes withstand 20,000xg RCF.
Pure, Additive Free, Natural Color Cap for easy labelling and Trace Metal free.
3.Abdos maxiRCFTM Trace Metal Free Centrifuge Tubes work excellently in high density gradient separation of samples
4.Abdos MaxiRCFTM Trace Metal Free centrifuge tubes are specifically manufactured to ensure that common trace metals and elements that can interfere with experiments are below an ICP-MS detection level of one part per billion (< 1ppb). Metals included in testing are: Zinc, Iron, Copper, Manganese, Aluminum, Silicon, Nickel, Vanadium, Phosphorous, Cobalt, Chromium, Lithium, Selenium, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic and Lead.

Author Name:
Vinod Joshi
Product Manager – International
Abdos Labtech Pvt ltd

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