Metals and environmental disease

Metals and their compounds have long been recognized as important toxic agents, causing acute and chronic poisoning cases in occupational settings and in environmental high-exposure situations. In recent years it has been demonstrated in epidemiological studies that exposures in the general environment to low levels of toxic metals can be considered a cause of environmental disease. 

There is an obvious need for preventive action to decrease this global burden of disease. It is also important to address current concerns for possible increases of metal exposures. 

If you are exposed to a hazardous substance, several factors will determine whether harmful health effects will occur, or have occurred, and what the type and severity of those health effects will be. These factors include the dose (how much), the duration (how long), the route or pathway by which you are exposed (breathing, eating, drinking, or skin contact), other chemicals to which you are exposed, and individual characteristics such as age, sex, nutritional status, family traits, life style, and state of health. (ATSDR)

Specific diagnostics are available to determine the type of exposure and need for treatment. Contact your doctor for more information.

Literature: Nordberg GF et al. Handbook on the Toxicology of Metals, 4th ed. Academic Press 2015

Alphabetically listed are metals and facts as provided by governmental agencies.