Heavy metals are abundant in our environment, from the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, to the water that we drink. For example, smoke (e.g. cigarette, fireplace smoke) is very high in mercury and cadmium, tuna and other fish are high in mercury, farmed chicken in arsenic, and lead from old water pipes or old homes where lead paint was used in the past.
Heavy metals are usually strong neurotoxic agents. For example, low grade but chronic mercury toxicity causes symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog/lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, pain syndromes, and insomnia. Both lead and mercury have been linked to some development of early dementia such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease. Some metals may also play a role in conditions such as ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Cadmium acts more like an estrogen/hormone disruptor, leading to increased risk of estrogen related cancers.
The list of symptoms that can occur due to heavy metal toxicity is a long one.
Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Heavy Metal Posioning
Note There can be other causes, for these symptoms besides heavy metal poisoning
Not everyone exposed to heavy metals, develops heavy metal toxicity, even when exposure is high. It depends on the level of exposures, the duration of exposures and the persons detoxification capacity. People can be fast detoxifiers or slow detoxifiers. Genetically very slow detoxifiers are most at risk.
Treatment for heavy metal toxicity includes reduced exposure to the sources of the heavy metal (s) of concern. Complete avoidance is impossible, and generally not necessary, as the body is designed to cope with many heavy metal exposures. Nutritional rebalancing and detoxification therapies or cleanses may be used as well. Best done with the help of doctor trained in functional, integrative or environmental medicine.
For people who have developed toxicity induced conditons like dementia or toxic encephalopathy, ongoing support is usually necessary.
Sources of heavy metals
Aluminum – vaccines, anti-perspirants, aluminum foil, tea especially mint and peppermint (all teas have aluminum), animal feed, antacids, aspirin, auto exhaust, used as an anticaking and drying agent in our, baking powders and table salt, beverages in aluminum cans (soda, beer, juice), ceramics, cheese (processed), cigarette smoke, clays like bentonite, color additives, aluminum cookware, cosmetics, mercury amalgam llings, ‘natural’ deodorant stones and crystals, tap water (used to cause sediment to sink to the bottom of municipal water sources), some medications, nasal spray, pesticides, pollution, toothpaste, vanilla powder, and occupational exposure.
Arsenic – conventionally raised poultry and commercial chicken feed, some beer, treated wood (wood preservatives), coal combustion, drinking water (US, Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile), pesticides, fungicides and insecticides, glass and mirror manufacturing, paints, pigments, table salt, tobacco smoke, rice and rice products (organic has much less),cosmetics, seafood from coastal waters (especially oysters and shrimp), soil.
Barium – contaminated groundwater, cigarette/tobacco smoke, barium sulfate beverages (used in certain medical procedures), cathode-ray tubes (in plasma TVs, LCDs/liquid crystal displays/ TVs, LCD computer monitors, and laptop computers), at panel display devices/FDPs (such as TVs, computers, and smart phones), clay slurries used in drilling oil wells, ller for rubbers and plastics, manufacturing of ceramics, paint pigments, paper ller, petroleum production, pyrotechnics (signal ares, reworks), rat poison.
Beryllium – tobacco smoke, air pollution (burning fossil fuels), coal burning, dental crowns, electronics, glass, manufacture of plastics and household products, industrial dust, metal work, mining, steel alloys, volcanic ash, and X-ray tubes.
Bismuth – cosmetics and makeup, stomach remedies (Pepto Bismol), some medicines, occupational exposure.
Cadmium – cigarettes and marijuana, airborne industrial contaminants, artist’s paints, auto exhaust, batteries, burning coal, ceramics, coffee and instant coffee, copper alloys, dental alloys and amalgam lling, electroplating, fertilizers, food grown on cadmium contaminated soil (sewage sludge, chemical fertilizers, and contaminated irrigation water), fungicides, galvanized pipes, hydrogenated oils, incineration of tires/rubber/plastic, shell sh and large ocean sh (tuna, cod, haddock), metal coatings, motor oil, paints, pigments, plastics, processed foods, rubber, sewage, silver polish, smelters, solders (including in canned food), water (tap, softened, well), welding material, and occupational exposure.
Chromium (toxic) – cement, cheese (American), dental materials, jewelry, oysters, paint pigments, tattoos, tobacco smoke.
Cobalt (toxic) – batteries, hair dyes, magnets, radioactive solutions, tires.
Copper – any birth control involving estrogen will raise copper like IUD’s (intra-uterine devices) and the birth control pill, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), avocado, beer, bone meal, chocolate, congenital intoxication (acquired at birth), copper water pipes, copper added to tap water as a fungicide, copper cookware, corn oil, crabs, dental alloys and amalgams, electronic devices, fertilizers, fungicides, gelatin, grains, hair color, industrial emissions, insecticides, jewelry, lobster, margarine, mushrooms, nuts, nutritional supplements – high in prenatal vitamins, organ meats, oysters, perch, pesticides, shell sh, soybeans, swimming pools, tofu, vegetarian diets in general, welding, wheat germ, and occupational exposure.
Gold – computers, coins, dental crowns and gold llings, jewelry, radioactive solutions.
Iron (toxic) – enriched our, drinking water, cast iron cookware, iron pipes, welding, re ned foods.
Lead – auto exhaust, batteries and battery manufacturing, cigarette smoke, coal combustion, colored inks, cosmetics, root canals, eating utensils, electroplating, glass production, glazes, hair dyes, industrial emissions, lead pipes, lead-glazed earthenware pottery, mascara, metal polish, milk, newsprint, paints, pencils, pesticide residues, pvc containers, rain water, smelters, cans with lead solder sealing (such as juices, vegetables), tobacco and tobacco smoke, toothpaste, water (city/well/tap).
Mercury (ethly) – eye drops, nasal sprays, thimerosal, vaccines.
Mercury (inorganic) – batteries, dental mercury amalgam llings, disinfectants, vaccines.
Mercury (methyl) – sh and shell sh (especially tuna, shark and other large sh), fungicides, grains, and soil. Mercury (phenyl) – eye drops, soft contact lens solution, fungicides, latex and oil-based paints, nasal sprays.
Mercury (general) – adhesives, air conditioner lters, air pollution (coal burning), algaecides, antiseptics, battery manufacturing, body powders, bleached our, broken thermometers, burning of building materials, calomel lotions, some Chinese herbs, cleaners including Ajax, Lysol, Comet, Derma Scrub, Dove Soap, Ivory Liquid, chlorine and chlorine bleach, congenital intoxication (acquired in utero), cosmetics, diuretics, dyes, embalming uid, engraving supplies, exhaust fumes, fabric softeners, felt, fertilizers, inks, laxatives, lumber, paints, paper manufacturing, medications, mercurochrome, photo engraving, polluted water, Preparation H, psoriasis ointment, sewage disposal, skin lightening creams, tattooing, water (contaminated), waxes (including oor), and wood preservatives.
Molybdenum (toxic) – dental materials, fossil fuels, hair color, lubricating oils.
Nickel – braces, dental crowns and materials, red teas like roobios, air pollution, batteries, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, fertilizers, fuel oil combustion, hydrogenated fats and oils (margarine, fast food, commercial peanut butter and shortening, imitation whipped cream), industrial waste, jewelry, oysters and shell sh, stainless steel cookware (makes it shiny), and occupational exposure.
Palladium – car exhaust, coins, dental crowns, radiation, razors, watches, ‘white gold’.
Potassium (toxic) – fruit grown with NPK fertilizers (Miracle Grow).
Platinum – catalytic converters, dental llings, jewelry, pacemakers, tobacco smoke.
Rubidium (this element is non toxic) – organic black beluga lentils, meats, whole grains, vegetables. Silver – dental llings, food colorings, jewelry.
Strontium (toxic) – air pollution, ceramic glazes, cathode-ray tubes for televisions, ceramic making, coal burning, glass making, making of uorescent lights, some medicines, metal melting and casting, mining waste waters, municipal land ll operations, nuclear waste facilities, oil, paint pigments, pyrotechnics, scrap metal work (sorting, sales, and brokerage), soil, surface and underground water.
Thallium – car exhaust, smog, ant killers, cardiac scanning (thallium isotopes are used in this procedure), cement plants, coal ash, inhalation of contaminated dust from pyrite burners, kale and other cruciferous vegetables, lead smelting, manufacture of electronics, low temperature thermometers, optical lenses, imitation precious jewels, semiconductors, scintillation counters, green-colored reworks, oil drilling, anti-knock additive in some gasoline in areas where high-octane gas is in short supply, production of photoelectric cells, rodenticides, smelting activities, soil, water uoridated with uorosilicic acid, zinc smelting.
Tin – canned foods or juices, dental amalgams, land lls, soil, toys, water collected from galvanized (tin) roofs, air, dyes, food additives, fungicides, some herbs, licorice, occupational exposure, smelting, tin recovery from scarp metal, soaps, seafood, some toothpaste, stablizers in plastics, moluscicides, and miticides.
Titanium – bone pins, hip/joint replacements, cosmetics (used to make it white colored), sunscreens (used to make it white colored), paints, jewelry, stainless steel watches, toothpaste (used to make it white colored), food coloring, candy and gum (used to make it white colored).
Tungsten – air, light bulb laments, x-ray tubes, a component of steel in high-speed tools, turbine blades, phonographic needles, welding electrodes, gyroscope wheels, shing weights, darts, golf club components, bullets (as a replacement for lead), and in armor penetrators (as a substitute for depleted uranium).
Vanadium – dental implants and alloys, titanium implants, UV ltering in glasses
Zirconium – alloys and metals used in nuclear power, aerospace, and various chemical industries; manufacture of ceramics, glass, and porcelains; in the synthesis of pigments, dyes, and water repellants; abrasives and polishing materials; igniters in the manufacture of munitions and detonators; lighter ints; skin ointments and antiperspirants; a “Gas getter” in the manufacture of high-vacuum tubes; deodorizer, denitri ed, and desulfurizer in iron and steel manufacturing, and occupational exposure
The information at this site is for your consideration only. It is not intended to replace proper diagnosis and treatment guidance from a health professional. This is not medical advise.
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