What are heavy metals? Harm and effective treatment

Heavy metal is the most common pollutant today, it exists in water or even in the food that we eat every day. Depending on the level of pollution, does it affect human health or not? In this article, Ocany will clarify the concept and harmful effects of heavy metal. At the same time, share ways to handle, heavy metal detox domestic.

What are heavy metals?  Harm and effective treatment

What are heavy metals? Harm and effective treatment

What are heavy metals?

Concept heavy metal are conventionally defined as elements with a density greater than 5g/cm3. They exhibit metallicity at room temperature and have a large atomic mass or atomic number.

Heavy metal are divided into 3 groups, based on the properties at room temperature:

  • Group 1 – toxic metals: Hg, Zn, Cr, Pb, Ni, Cu, As, Cd, Sn, Co,…
  • Group 2 – precious metals: Ru, Au, Ag, Pd, Pt,…
  • Group 3 – radioactive metals: Am, Th, Ra, U, etc.

According to experts, when in elemental form, the heavy metal does not cause much harm to health. However, in high concentrations and in the form of ions, these are toxic substances that can affect life.

In nature, heavy metalpresent“in land and water. The process of industrialization, resource exploitation, production, and construction pollutes the environment, causing their concentration to increase.

High metal concentrations can be dangerous to the body and health

High metal concentrations can be dangerous to the body and health

On the other hand, heavy metal It still plays an important role in the human body. At the allowable concentrations and concentrations, metal elements have the effect of promoting favorable metabolic processes.

Different elements will have a different allowable amount. Such as: mercury is 0.006 mg/l, cadmium is 0.003 mg/l, chromium is 0.005 mg/l, zinc is 3 mg/l, copper is 2 mg/l, etc.

>>> See more: What is groundwater? Is groundwater clean?

Heavy metals are commonly found in water

Before becoming the source of water that people usually use, the geyser has to go through many “arduous journey“. Those journeys carry many risks of infection heavy metal. Some metals commonly found in water supplies include:

Arsenic

Arsenic, also known as Arsenic, has the chemical symbol As. This metal can exist in many environments such as soil, water, air and food.

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Metallurgy, mining, coal burning and the use of pesticides can release arsenic into the natural environment, causing pollution. The sad news is that this extremely toxic metal can enter the body through the skin, respiratory system and ingestion.

Arsenic can enter the body through the respiratory system, skin and food

Arsenic can enter the body through the respiratory system, skin and food

Consumption of water with arsenic content exceeding the legal limit, will cause many health problems such as:

  • Poisoning
  • Increased body pigmentation
  • Cancer
  • Liver toxicity
  • Weakened immune system

On the other hand, at low concentrations Arsenic has the ability to stimulate growth in plants and animals. The allowable arsenic threshold in bottled water is 10 µg/L.

Lead

Lead has the chemical symbol Pb, which is one of the heavy metal dangerous to humans. This metal can exist in contaminated air, food and water.

According to studies, lead in water is usually caused by corrosion of pipes and industrial wastewater from manufacturing activities.

Lead appearing in water is usually due to pipe corrosion

Lead appearing in water is usually due to pipe corrosion

When entering the body, lead releases toxins through the circulatory system. Depending on how severe or mild lead poisoning is, it can lead to problems such as:

  • Disorders of the bone marrow system
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Nephritis, arthritis
  • High blood pressure, stroke
  • Fertility
  • Death if severe infection

For bottled water products, the allowable lead content threshold is 10 µg/L (according to regulations on domestic water of the Ministry of Health).

Chromium

Chromium is one of the quite common compounds, often existing in industrial production environments, mostly from industrial wastewater of production activities. This compound is quite common in the production of plastics, footwear, fossil burning or metal plating.

Chromium often exists in untreated agricultural wastewater

Chromium often exists in untreated agricultural wastewater

Chemovalent chromium III usually does not cause health effects. However, IV chemotherapy chromium compounds are different, chromium poisoning can cause some stomach diseases, hypoglycemia, liver damage, nervous system, heart rhythm disturbances.

WHO – The World Health Organization recommends that the chromium IV content in water should not exceed 0.05 milligrams per liter.

Mercury

Mercury is on the list of heavy metal unique, up to the present time. Mercury is found in many places in nature such as volcanoes, blockades of rocks, soil, etc. Although toxic, they have high applications in fields such as manufacturing, mining, and manufacturing electronic components. , manufacturing medical equipment,…

This metal invades the body through the respiratory tract, and accumulates toxins over a long period of time. When out in the environment, mercury easily comes into contact with the soil and seeps into the groundwater, causing pollution.

Mercury is used in the manufacture of thermometers

Mercury is used in the manufacture of thermometers

cadmium

Cadmium is a type heavy metal Not essential for life, has the chemical formula Cd. This element is relatively rare, soft, greenish in color. Cadmium is found in zinc ores and is commonly used in batteries, electroplating technology, fertilizers, and pesticides in crops.

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Cadmium poisoning can cause bone disease, calcium metabolism disorders, respiratory system effects causing rhinitis, loss of smell. The body is infected with cadmium through the oral route and the respiratory system.

>>> See more: 19 types of drinking water to purify the body, detoxify safely

Origin of heavy metals

As shared, heavy metal generated from a variety of sources, both natural and man-made. However, most of them are created by human industrial production activities.

Heavy metals are generated from many different sources

Heavy metals are generated from many different sources

In nature

Heavy metals such as chromium, mercury, etc., appear from activities such as volcanic eruptions or geological weathering of rocks.

In artificial

Heavy metal Strong toxicity comes from fossil fuel burning, mining, waste, industrial wastewater. Besides, agricultural activities also release large amounts of heavy metal from waste fertilizers, pesticides, .. into the environment.

After the metals “touch” the groundwater, they will mix with the water and disperse everywhere.

Harm when using water with heavy metals

The use of water containing heavy metal It is extremely dangerous to health and life. Long time not eliminated and accumulated in the body will lead to:

Image of hands contaminated with heavy metals

Image of hands contaminated with heavy metals

  • Large amount heavy metal When they come into contact with cell membranes, they will inhibit the DNA division process, leading to malformations in the fetus, or even death. stillbirth.
  • Regular exposure to metals in water increases the risk of skin cancer, stomach cancer, or throat cancer.
  • Content heavy metal If it exceeds the allowable threshold, it will interfere with the metabolism, affecting the excretion and digestion.

How to remove heavy metals in water and food

Harm of heavy metal extremely dangerous to the human body. We should actively remove and treat potentially contaminated water sources heavy metal. In a few ways:

How to remove heavy metals in water and food

How to remove heavy metals in water and food

Biological systems

Using biological systems to treat contaminated water heavy metal, including biology, plants and animals. Thereby helping to filter out dangerous metals in the water. Contaminated drinking water heavy metal At high levels, bacteria and aquatic plants are required for treatment, such as Azolla, Lemna, Phigateites.

However, the disadvantage of this method is that it is only used for wastewater treatment, not for drinking water sources.

Photocatalyst

Photocatalysts are one of the wastewater treatment solutions and heavy metal quite preeminent. Both simple and cost effective. To do this, we use ultraviolet light with low pH plus oxalate to filter the water and reduce chromium.

Photocatalysts are a superior wastewater treatment solution

Photocatalysts are a superior wastewater treatment solution

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange is a method of treating iron and manganese metals in water, with highly appreciated efficiency. The metal reduction mechanism of this method is accomplished by adding ion exchange resins with water (applicable where concentrations are lower than resins).

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RO Household Filtration System

Currently, RO filtration systems are highly appreciated for their ability to thoroughly treat contaminated water heavy metal. Applying reverse osmosis technology with ultra-small size RO membrane (0.001 micrometer) allows only water molecules to pass through.

Metals, impurities, and dirt will be blocked when reaching the filter, ensuring that the first source of water is pure, without any dangerous substances for the body.

Upstream filter system

Using upstream water filtration systems is an effective solution to treat water contaminated with iron. The filtration system is usually equipped with 2-3 filter columns with multi-purpose cores made of high quality materials. As a result, the water source after being treated is purified heavy metalbacteria and harmful impurities.

The water source after filtration is no longer contaminated with impurities or harmful bacteria

The water source after filtration is no longer contaminated with impurities or harmful bacteria

Depending on the effort of the device, systems with strong filtration capacity can meet the needs of daily use.

Heavy metal is a serious threat to human health. Facing the current situation of groundwater pollution, we need to be equipped with knowledge and methods to proactively treat water sources and protect the health of ourselves and those around us. Ocany Hope this article provides useful information to you.

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