Metals naturally exist in the crust of the earth, and their compositions vary among different localities, resulting in structural disparity of surrounding concentrations. Some heavy metals are much important in trace amounts in respect to living organisms related to their metabolic activities. High solubility of various heavy metals changes them into extremely toxic and perilous contaminant of water and soil when discharged by many industrial activities. When these metals are released into the environment, they can be leached into the underground waters, depositing in the aquifers, or run off into surface waters and soils thereby resulting in water and soil pollution. Thus, heavy metals become a potential contaminant for environment that can partake in trophic transfer in food chains. The toxicity of heavy metals mainly depends upon its relative oxidation state, which is responsible for physiological bio-toxic effects. When these metals enter into the living organisms, they, combine with proteins, enzymes, and DNA molecules, form highly stable bio-toxic compounds, thus altering their proper functioning and obstructing them from the bioreactions. Arsenic, chromium, cadmium, and lead are highly toxic and produce mutagenic, carcinogenic, and genotoxic effects. Hence, this chapter is focused on occurrence and allocation of heavy metals, their toxicological impact on environment, and their possible eco-friendly remedies for green and healthy environment.
- Heavy metals
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The financial support received from “Science and Engineering Research Board” (SERB), Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India (GOI), New Delhi, India, as “Major Research Project” (Grant No.:EEQ/2017/000407) and University Grant Commission (UGC) Fellowship received for doctoral research work is duly acknowledged.
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Mishra, S. et al. (2019). Heavy Metal Contamination: An Alarming Threat to Environment and Human Health. In: Sobti, R., Arora, N., Kothari, R. (eds) Environmental Biotechnology: For Sustainable Future. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-7284-0_5
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