Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Toxic Metals Affecting our Health

Heavy metals become toxic when they are not metabolized by the body and accumulate in the soft tissues. Heavy metals may enter the human body through food, water, air, or absorption through the skin when they come in contact with humans in agriculture and in manufacturing, pharmaceutical, industrial, or residential settings. Industrial exposure accounts for a common route of exposure for adults. Ingestion is the most common route of exposure in children.

Angel Chiropractic offers a comprehensive program for detoxing heavy metals. We carry a professional line of supplements and drainers to assist your body in expelling accumulated toxins. Through clearings, chiropractic care and detoxifying footbaths we have led many patients to better health by ridding them of heavy metals entirely.

Most Commonly Encountered Heavy Metals


Arsenic is the most common cause of acute heavy metal poisoning in adults. Arsenic is released into the environment by the smelting process of copper, zinc, and lead, as well as by the manufacturing of chemicals and glasses. Arsine gas is a common byproduct produced by the manufacturing of pesticides that contain arsenic. Arsenic may be also be found in water supplies worldwide, leading to exposure of shellfish, cod, and haddock. Other sources are paints, rat poisoning, fungicides, and wood preservatives. Target organs are the blood, kidneys, and central nervous, digestive, and skin systems.

Lead is a very soft metal and was used in pipes, drains, and soldering materials for many years. Millions of homes built before 1940 still contain lead (e.g., in painted surfaces), leading to chronic exposure from weathering, flaking, chalking, and dust. Every year, industry produces about 2.5 million tons of lead throughout the world. Most of this lead is used for batteries. The remainder is used for cable coverings, plumbing, ammunition, and fuel additives. Other uses are as paint pigments and in PVC plastics, x-ray shielding, crystal glass production, pencils, and pesticides. Target organs are the bones, brain, blood, kidneys, and thyroid gland.

Mercury is generated naturally in the environment from the degassing of the earth's crust, from volcanic emissions. It exists in three forms: elemental mercury and organic and inorganic mercury. Mining operations, chloralkali plants, and paper industries are significant producers of mercury. Atmospheric mercury is dispersed across the globe by winds and returns to the earth in rainfall, accumulating in aquatic food chains and fish in lakes. Mercury compounds were added to paint as a fungicide until 1990. These compounds are now banned; however, old paint supplies and surfaces painted with these old supplies still exist. Mercury continues to be used in thermometers, thermostats, and dental amalgam. Many researchers suspect dental amalgam as being a possible source of mercury toxicity. Algaecides and childhood vaccines are also potential sources. Inhalation is the most frequent cause of exposure to mercury. The organic form is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (90-100%); lesser but still significant amounts of inorganic mercury are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract (7-15%). Target organs are the brain and kidneys.

Cadmium is a byproduct of the mining and smelting of lead and zinc. It is used in nickel-cadmium batteries, PVC plastics, and paint pigments. It can be found in soils because insecticides, fungicides, sludge, and commercial fertilizers that use cadmium are used in agriculture. Cadmium may be found in reservoirs containing shellfish. Cigarettes also contain cadmium. Lesser-known sources of exposure are dental alloys, electroplating, motor oil, and exhaust. Inhalation accounts for 15-50% of absorption through the respiratory system; 2-7% of ingested cadmium is absorbed in the gastrointestinal system. Target organs are the liver, placenta, kidneys, lungs, brain, and bones.