Five Most Toxic Elements to the Human Body

So here’s a question you should ponder upon; what makes an element an element? Well, to the layman, they are the things present on the periodic table. However, it can be complicated to provide a proper definition of the term element. After all, the Greeks thought there were only four elements: water, fire, earth, and air.

That said, to keep things simple, let us take a look at what 17th-century chemist Robert Boyle had to say. According to him, an element is a substance that contains different and smaller components.

They are the building blocks of everything that surrounds us. That may sound weird, especially when most of these elements are highly dangerous to human beings. Scientists created some in a laboratory while some exist naturally.

That said, there are many elements that a human being needs to survive, like oxygen. However, many will kill us in terrible, horrible, and awful ways if we come close to contacting them. These elements are reactive, volatile, toxic, and explosive, and the next time someone equates health to all-natural, show them the list of poisonous elements mentioned below.

Asbestos

Asbestos contains naturally occurring minerals such as actinolite, anthophyllite, tremolite, crocidolite, amosite, and chrysotile. These minerals give asbestos its heat and corrosion-resistant properties. Commonly used as insulation material, asbestos is found in pipe insulation, building materials, floor tiles, etc.

That said, According to OSHA and EPA, asbestos poses a considerable health hazard to human beings. Inhalation of asbestos particles can lead to a disease known as asbestosis, which is the buildup of scar tissue inside the lungs. Continued inhalation can also lead to asbestos-related cancer like mesothelioma. Evidence shows that all asbestos types, especially chrysotile, can cause mesothelioma.

That said, to avoid contracting this cancer type, your best bet is to eliminate asbestos from your living space entirely. Furthermore, for individuals already diagnosed with this cancer type, filing mesothelioma claims are the perfect way to fund your treatment as it can be pretty costly.

Finding the right lawyer could help you acquire thousands of dollars in claims if you contracted mesothelioma due to employer negligence.

Arsenic

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, arsenic is one of the most toxic naturally occurring elements to human beings. It has an LD50 of approximately 13MG/ KG. Meaning, when administered to a group of people, around 50 percent will have no chances of survival.

Arsenic is usually white, silver, or grey, and what makes this element especially dangerous is that it is tasteless and odorless. So, you might get exposed to it without ever knowing.

Common symptoms of arsenic poisoning may include bloody diarrhea, encephalopathy, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and vomiting. The best way to treat arsenic poisoning is by eliminating exposure to the element.

Mercury

You might not suffer from mercury poisoning if you come into contact with mercury from a broken thermometer. However, if you don’t clean it up immediately, you’re asking for trouble. That said, you can find small amounts of mercury inside everyday products and food. However, high levels of exposure can be highly poisonous to humans.

Mercury lets off vapors at temperature, and when inhaled, it can lead to dire health consequences. It has an LD50 between 100MF/KG and 1MG/KG. When you inhale mercury vapors, it enters your bloodstream and enters your vital organs, such as your brain, leading to permanent brain damage.

Symptoms might include a change in handwriting, sleep disorders, agitation, and paralysis. If you’re constantly exposing your body to high levels of mercury daily, your doctor will ask you to undergo chelation therapy.

It is a treatment that removes poisonous metal from your body through the help of chelating agents.

Lead

Lead poisoning occurs due to lead buildup inside the body. Even the tiniest amount of lead can lead to serious health issues. Moreover, children between the ages of three to six are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning. As they are in the developmental period, lead can severely affect their physical and mental development.

You can find lead in everyday items such as lead-based paints, canned food, and cosmetics. Other sources of lead include contaminated soil, air, and water. However, there are a few measures you can take to avoid lead poisoning, which include washing hands regularly, keeping your home well-maintained, removing dirt from your shoes, and much more.

Thallium

Thallium is a metal that, in its pure form, is tasteless and odorless. Thallium enters our environment from smelting and cola-burning. It lingers in our soil, air, and water for a long time because it is difficult to break down. Usually, plants absorb thallium from the environment while fish absorb it through water, via which it enters our food chain.

Exposure to thallium can lead to dire health issues. Symptoms usually include hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lung, heart, and kidney failure. Treatment usually consists of the use of Prussian blue, which absorbs thallium from the human body.

Moreover, hemoperfusion and hemodialysis are also two treatment methods that remove thallium from the body.

Conclusion

In the end, the best way to avoid toxic elements is to keep a distance or eliminate any traces from your household. Some occur naturally, while some are artificial. Moreover, staying away from foods and products that contain these elements is another effective way to avoid poisoning.

However, if you come into contact with them, try to remain calm and visit your primary care physician immediately.

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