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Non-Cardiovascular Harmful Effects of Heavy Metals

Table 2: Noncardiovascular harmful effects of heavy metals.

Heavy metal Most affected organs Chronic health effects References

Arsenic (i) Central nervous system
(ii) Lungs
(iii) Digestive tract
(iv) Circulatory system
(v) Kidneys
(i) Cancers
(ii) Peripheral vascular disease, which in its extreme form leads to gangrenous changes (black foot disease, only reported in Taiwan)
(iii) Skin lesions (melanosis, keratosis)
(iv) Hearing loss
(v) Reproductive toxicity
(vi) Hematologic disorders
(vii) Neurological diseases
(viii) Developmental abnormalities and neurobehavioral disorders
[28]

Lead (i) Central nervous system
(ii) Erythropoiesis
(iii) Kidneys
(iv) Liver
(i) Cancers
(ii) Kidney damage
(iii) Neurological diseases
(iv) Impaired intellectual ability and behavioral problems in children
[29]

Cadmium (i) Kidneys
(ii) Bone
(iii) Liver
(iv) Lungs
(i) Cancers
(ii) Kidney damage
(iii) Bronchiolitis, COPD, emphysema, fibrosis
(iv) Skeletal damage, first reported from Japan, the itai-itai (ouch-ouch) disease (a combination of osteomalacia and osteoporosis)
[30]

Mercury (i) Central nervous system
(ii) Kidneys
(iii) Liver
(iv) Lungs
(i) Lung damage
(ii) Kidney damage
(iii) Neurological diseases
(iv) Impaired intellectual ability and behavioral problems in children
(v) Metallic mercury is an allergen, which may cause contact eczema
(vi) Mercury from amalgam fillings may give rise to oral lichen
[31]

Ref:

28. D. N. Mazumder, “Chronic arsenic toxicity and human health,” The Indian Journal of Medical Research, vol. 128, no. 4, pp. 436–447, 2008. View at Google Scholar

29. R. A. Goyer, “Lead toxicity: current concerns,” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 100, pp. 177–187, 1993.View at Google Scholar

30. T. S. Nawrot, J. A. Staessen, H. A. Roels et al., “Cadmium exposure in the population: from health risks to strategies of prevention,” BioMetals, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 769–782, 2010. View at Publisher · View at Google Scholar · View at PubMed

31. S. Díez, “Human health effects of methylmercury exposure,” Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, vol. 198, pp. 111–132, 2009. View at Google Scholar