Gold is classified as a heavy metal despite its softness and malleability because each of its atoms is heavy on its own. However, it is unique among heavy metals because it lacks the fragility of many others. Gold is called a heavy metal because of its high density, which comes from the fact that each of its atoms is individually very heavy. Mercury is considered to be the most toxic heavy metal in the environment.
Mercury poisoning is known as acrodynia or pink disease. Mercury is released into the environment by the activities of various industries, such as pharmaceutical products, paper and pulp preservatives, the agricultural industry and the chlorine and caustic soda production industry (Morais et al. Mercury has the ability to combine with other elements to form organic and inorganic mercury. Exposure to high levels of metallic, organic, and inorganic mercury can damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus (Alina et al.
Mercury is present in most of the foods and beverages in the range. The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic or poisonous at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals include mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl) and lead (Pb). Heavy metal poisoning is the build-up of heavy metals, in toxic amounts, in the body's soft tissues.
The symptoms and physical findings associated with heavy metal poisoning vary depending on the metal accumulated. Many of the heavy metals, such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron and manganese, are essential for the body to function in very small amounts. However, if these metals accumulate in the body in sufficient concentrations to cause poisoning, serious damage can result. The heavy metals most commonly associated with human poisoning are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
Heavy metal poisoning can result from industrial exposure, air or water pollution, food, medicines, improperly coated food packaging, or ingestion of lead-based paints.