Summary and Overview of Metal Toxicity
Previous chapters have indicated the physicochemical and physiologic basis for metal toxicity. An understanding of the composition and dynamic aspects of our geochemical environment provides an overview of the interplay between man and his spaceship Earth. We are becoming more aware that the geologic changes in climate may affect the cycles of specific metals, as illustrated by the mercury cycle (Fig. 6–1). Similar cycles that are drastically affected by man’s utilization of earth’s geologic resources could be drawn for selenium, arsenic, and other metals (Wood, 1974). Concepts of geologic, industrial, agribusiness, and urban utilization and pollution must be incorporated into the overview of metal toxicity. Man’s activities have increasingly disturbed geologic caches of heavy metals. Relatively high concentrations of metals, such as cadmium, mercury, indium, thallium, and lead, have been released into the environment from the earth’s reservoirs of immobilized ores and minerals. Consequently, man and animals are increasingly exposed to less-common metals at an alarming rate. The contributions of mineral toxicities to disabilities or diseases of man and other mammals are often nebulous. A cause-effect relationship is one of numerous questions being considered from both experimental and epide-mologic approaches (Hopps, 1972).
KeywordsMetal Toxicity Soluble Salt Light Metal Sulfite Oxidase Inherent Toxicity
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