As outlined in part one of this article heavy metals are natural components of the Earth’s crust. However to the body, they are poisonous substances even in very small quantities, which enter our food and water supply by industrial and consumer waste, or even from acidic rain breaking down soils and releasing heavy metals into streams, lakes, rivers, and groundwater. Heavy meals are also added (yes, unfortunately you read correctly – they are added!) to medicines as well as thousands of different food products, household products, personal products and untold numbers of industrial products and chemicals.
Toxic heavy metals cannot be degraded or destroyed and are dangerous because they tend to bioaccumulate. Bioaccumulation means an increase in the concentration of a chemical in the body over time, compared to the chemical’s concentration in the environment. Heavy metals accumulate in living organisms whenever they enter the body (of humans and/or animals). They are immediately absorbed and due to their high toxic potential are quickly and deeply stored away in tissues such as the brain, liver, kidneys and bones to prevent immediate harm as they are not easily broken down, metabolized or excreted by the body ceramic smoking pipes.
The problem being that due to their inability to be easily metabolized and excreted they tend to accumulate further and further causing metabolic disruptions which can lead to infertility, poor sperm parameters and miscarriages, but they have also been linked to malformation and abnormalities in the foetus as well as developmental concerns including autism in children whose parents (particularly the mother had high heavy metal loads during pregnancy). Researchers believe a lot of the damage caused to developing babies and children due to heavy metals exposure begins and happens whilst in utero, in addition to some links to certain vaccines which are preserved with mercury and may contain other heavy metals as well as polluted fish, water and other environmental exposure.
Arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminum, and uranium are highly toxic and every care should be taken to avoid them. Barium, lithium, nickel (one of the alloys in stainless steel) and strontium are also toxic and are certainly best avoided.