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Exposure Symptoms

Exposure Routes - Exposure Symptoms - Staying Healthy


Table 1 describes the main health effects of the various heavy metals. Note that many products that are used daily by millions of people are made or have component heavy metals.

Table 1: Symptoms of Exposure to Heavy Metals

Heavy Metal

Symbol

Symptoms of Exposure

Health benefits

Organs Affected

Acute

Chronic

Arsenic

As

Liver, Nervous System, Gastrointestinal, Kidneys

Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Cardiovascular Effects, Death

Cancer, Dermal Effects, Neuropathy

 

Cadmium

Cd

Kidneys, Lungs & Bones

Stomach Irritation, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Cancer, Kidney Damage & Possible Kidney Disease

 

Chromate

CrO4-2

Gastrointestinal Tract, Reproductive Tract, Skin

Ulcers, Irritation. Stomach irritation. Vomiting. Death.

Cancer, Sperm Damage

 

Lead

Pb

Nervous System, Kidneys, Reproductive Tract

Weakness, Anemia, Brain & Kidney Damage, Miscarriage

Possible Carcinogen, Learning Disabilities, Nervous Function, Death

 

Mercury

Hg

Nervous System, Kidneys, Developing Fetus

Lung Damage, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Irritation

Severe Nervous & Brain Damage, Interferes with Protein Synthesis

 

Thallium

Tl

Nervous System, Gastrointestinal Tract

Vomiting, Diarrhea, Nervous Damage, Death

Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aluminum

Al

Nervous System (Excessive Doses Only)

Decreased Nervous Response

Decreased Nerve Response, Possibly Alzheimer's

None

Iron

Fe

All Systems (Excessive Doses Only)

Hemochromatosis (Fatigue, Weakness, Weight Loss)

Hemochromatosis (Arthritis, Dyspnea)

Traces required for protein function in most living organisms.

Nickel

Ni

Skin

Minor Irritation in Sensitive Individuals

Cancer (At High Chronic Exposure Doses)

Required for function of several proteins, including Urease.

Zinc

Zn

Gastrointestinal Tract (Excessive Doses Only)

Nausea, Vomiting, Skin Irritation

Anemia and Decreased Good Cholesterol, Infertility

Functions in a wide variety of biological roles, including proteins.

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