Health effects caused by metal contaminated ground water

Blessy Mathew, Vaishaly A. G, Krishnamurthy N. B.


The main threats to human health are associated with the exposure to heavy metals like lead, cadmium, zinc,manganese, copper, nickel, chromium, mercury and arsenic. Even though adverse health effect due to heavy metals is known, still exposure continues the same in most of the developing countries. Cadmium found in low concentration in rocks, coal, and petroleum, enters the groundwater and surface water through industrial discharge, metal painting by which it replaces the zinc biochemically in the body and causes high blood pressure, liver and kidney damage, and anemia. Cadmium emission is increasing dramatically as it is not recycled and often dumped along with the household waste. The general population is exposed to mercury through food; fish is the major source of methyl mercury exposure and dental amalgam. Lead enters environment from industry, mining and as a water additive. Affects red blood cell chemistry,delays normal physical and mental development in babies and young children, increase in blood pressure   in some adults. In ground water used as drinking water, arsenic concentrations ranged from 0.1–1340 µg L 1.Exposure to the arsenic is mainly through food and drinking water which has the high risk of cancer of lung,   skin, bladder and kidney, skin lesions such as hyperkeratosis and pigmentation changes.


heavy metals, health effects, metal toxicity

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