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Different types of heavy metal
Heavy metals are chemical elements, characterized by their high density and fixation, accumulation and permanence capacity, these are distributed throughout the globe, some in the form of essential trace elements for the physical-chemical functions of the organism, they are involved in such important processes, even as metabolism.
However, some of these may become very powerful toxic/pollutants for living beings within an ecosystem, commonly the action of the human being intervenes directly in the aforementioned pollution, with activities such as mining, industrial processes, livestock and the agricultural exploitation, which make these metals inside the earth’s crust come into contact with the outside and in turn with the biota, the soil and therefore the foods that occur of it. Reason why a population can be directly affected according to their exposure to metals, ending with the development of health complications as serious as cancer.
Heavy metals with common presence
These metals are generally found in objects of everyday life such as coins, jewelry, pipes and taps, which are in direct contact with water, among the most remarkable, for their applications, toxicity and potential presence in the water of the community, they find each other:
In its purest state, it is a whitish-planted metal, it is quite appetizing in the industry for the quality of alloy with other metals such as zinc, iron, copper and chrome, these alloys appear in countless objects, however , most of the nickel is used in the industry in order to produce stainless steel, on the other hand, there are also the “nickel compounds”, which are obtained by combining this element with chlorine, oxygen and sulfur, which present A characteristic green pigment, water solubility and its applications are the most varied, appearing in processes such as nickel -colored, ceramic colored and battery manufacturing.
It is a heavy metal, characterized by its low melting temperature, resistance to air or water corrosion, when any of these come into contact with the metal, there is a thin layer of lead compounds that prevents action from both the Air, like water, and its bluish grayish color is found in the earth’s cortex but rarely in the form of metal in nature, since it is commonly combined with more elements, thus forming the so -called "lead compounds".
This metal is malleable, it can be easily carved and they have the ability to form alloys with other metals, alloys which are common in elements such as vehicle batteries, weights, projectiles, ammunition, wiring coatings and pipes, the latter being of special interest being For the purpose of our research.
Similarly, lead compounds are used in varnishes for ceramics and paint pigments, however, over the years, the amount of this element in the previous substances described, has been reduced in order to minimize The harmful effects on living beings, however in Ecuador, the situation was barely taken into account in 2017, after a report from the ACEPP, on August 5, 2016 where it was shown that Ecuador, along with others Nine Latin American countries were one of the few countries that still marketed painting with this metal.
It is a reddish metal, which is naturally found as copper compounds or as a metal itself in water, rocks and in smaller quantity, in the air. There are approximately 50 ppm of copper on the ground or, what is its equivalent, 50 grams per 1000000 grams of soil, in the same way it appears in both animals, and in plants, since despite being in low concentrations, it is about An essential element for organisms in their diet, however at greater concentrations, can produce health problems due to their toxicity.
Copper, in its form of metal, presents characteristics that like the rest of the mentioned metals, makes it appetizing for the industry, for its various applications; It can be easily molded and can be raised with other metals. This metallic copper can be seen in the coins of 1 cent, cables, wires, brass, bronze and even in some water pipes.
While copper compounds are found in manufactured minerals and products, such as copper sulfate, the most common copper compound, being found in fungicides, pools for swimming pools and as a complement in feeding in case of having a copper deficiency, others Instead, they are used as leather condoms, woods and fabrics.
Copper is obtained with mining, so another way in which it can come into contact with nature is release from mines, factories that use and manufacture products based on metallic copper or that simply produce copper compounds, copper compounds, garbage stores, gray waters, garbage combustion and fossil fuels. Other natural sources, where this metal is present are volcanoes, dust, soil, sea foam, forest fires or can be the resulting of biological processes such as plant decomposition.
Nickel is a metal that is used for the manufacture of various objects, for its ability to alloit with other metals such as iron, copper and zinc, forming coins, jewelry, valves, coloring ceramics and manufacturing of stainless steel and batteries, but in the same way there is a presence of it both in food, as in contaminated water, so exposure to this metal is really likely likely.
In the organism, it is found as an essential trace, which is present in the production of red blood cells, however the excess nickel levels could generate the development of diseases such as asthma, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failures and chronic bronchitis.
Water contaminated with heavy metals
Due to the impossibility of being degraded by the organism and the previous characteristics described, heavy metals can be “entered” in the human body with simple events, such as drinking water that has the presence of these metals or the dermal exposure during a bathroom.
After the visit to the community of Cangahua during this year, we have been able to observe a potential problem, the conditions in which the population acquires and/or retains the water, most, after being surveyed, has responded that they obtain this resource of Two main sources: the public or slope/ditches, which not only have poor treatment against heavy metals such as lead, chrome, nickel and/or copper, which apart from being in various common elements such as the paint (lead -based), taps, earth, air and even porcelain.
They can result in serious health problems, since, in case of lead, in the case of going into direct contact with blood, it could mean brain damage, kidney damage. Heavy metals. They have direct effects on the kidney and are particularly neurotoxic even to concentrations considered as normal even interfere with the production of red blood cells.
When it is released and reaches the ground, it tends to adhere to the components of the soil such as clay and organic matter, however, it will not mobilize very far from the initial point in which copper came into contact, unlike when it enters In contact with water, since it has the ability to dissolve, being easily transported by this means.
Ending deposited in the sediments of rivers and lakes or even reaching groundwater sources, another means in which it can be transported is air when it is in the form of metal dust, which occurs after the combustion process such as the What happens with the stoves and/or heaters that use kerosene.