Relation of Trace Metals to Human Health Effects

  • Henry A. Schroeder
  • Dan K. Darrow
Part of the Progress in Analytical Chemistry book series (PAC)


For the past 150 years, civilized man has been exposed more and more widely to metallic contaminants in his environment, resulting from the products of industry. Canning of foods, for example, was introduced in the Napoleonic Wars, but did not become wide-spread until the Civil War. Smelting of ores and refining of metals has been going on a long time, introducing metals into air and water, but human exposures were usually local; during the past 50 years they have become fairly general. Exposures to lead have occurred in circumscribed areas of the world for 3000 years or more, and were high among the Roman upper classes; the use of lead pipes in soft water areas has lead to sporadic episodes of lead poisoning in persons drinking these waters, but not until 1924, when alkyl lead was put into gasoline as an anti-knock agent were whole civilized populations exposed to lead at an annually increasing rate. Cadmium was an industrial curiosity in 1900, but today its use is sharply increasing in an exponential curve, with resultant contamination of air, water and food.


Trace Metal Human Health Effect Oral Zinc Zinc Chelate Essential Trace Metal 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry A. Schroeder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dan K. Darrow
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Trace Element LaboratoryDartmouth Medical SchoolBrattleboroUSA
  2. 2.Brattleboro Memorial HospitalUSA

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