Epithelial Transport of Heavy Metals

  • E. C. Foulkes
Part of the Advances in Comparative and Environmental Physiology book series (COMPARATIVE, volume 20)


There is no rigorous chemical definition of what constitutes a heavy metal. In the biological context the classification generally includes polyvalent metals present in aqueous solution as complex ions or chelate compounds. The heavy metals as a class include many frankly toxic elements such as lead and cadmium for which no convincing biological functions has yet been described. Other heavy metals, while toxic at higher concentrations, may play an essential role at low levels, as has been suggested, for instance, for Cr (Mertz 1969).


Heavy Metal Methyl Mercury Renal Cortex Inorganic Mercury Frog Skin 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. C. Foulkes
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. Environ. Health, College of MedicineUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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