Heavy metals are defined as naturally occurring components with a high atomic weight and water density five times greater. They generally occur in minimal quantities in natural waters, but most are toxic even at low concentrations. Among how HMs can get into the human body is through the water. In an earlier paper, we discussed some of the most dangerous and toxic metals, namely cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury. In this paper, we will discuss other metals that are almost no less hazardous to human health.
The annual production of chromium in the world is approximately 7.5 million tonnes. The secretion of collagen of the type that helps wound bone fractures is suppressed by chromium ions. In humans, chromium is responsible for nasal ulcers, asthma, DNA damage, hemolysis, liver and kidney damage, and cancer.
Copper, an integral part of many small-volume enzymes (0.9 mg daily), is an essential mineral for animals and plants. Copper deficiency in humans results in anemia, low white blood cell counts, animal tissue abnormalities, and osteoporosis in infants. The copper inside the body above the allowed limit causes bloody vomiting, yellowing, crying, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidney problems. In addition, copper is at the origin of Wilson’s disease, which is a genetic disease.
Nickel, a naturally occurring metal, is present in several metal shapes and is a constituent of chocolate, steel, other metal products, dyes, valves, and batteries. Excess human absorption of nickel leads to asthma, pneumonia, allergies, heart problems, rashes, and miscarriages. In addition, the chances of developing cancers, such as nasal cancer, larynx cancer, and prostate adenocarcinoma have also been increased.
Cobalt is a vital mineral and is integral to vitamin B12 (cobalamin). When humans are exposed to a higher concentration of cobalt, this results in decreased lung function, asthma, interstitial lung disease, wheezing and shortness of breath, and reduced lung function. In addition, it causes the expansion of the respiratory tract, pulmonary fibrosis, an increase in the number of red blood cells, emphysema, paralysis of the nervous system, attacks of epilepsy, stunting, hypothyroidism if its concentration in the human body increases.
Given that zinc plays a significant role in metalloenzymes, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, Carbon dioxide, leucine aminopeptidase, superoxide dismutase, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are essential minerals in humans and even animals. Therefore, excess exposure to zinc in humans results in dehydration or pharyngitis, chest tightness, headache, increased evidence of pneumonia, nausea, decreased activity of the mineral copper enzyme, lower HDL cholesterol, immunotoxicity, and gastrointestinal effects.
Solutions by which water pollution can be reduced
Some are societal solutions implemented by states, governments, and local communities, and others are individual solutions that each of us can implement on our own if he wants to contribute to reducing water pollution.
– Wastewater treatment and recycling
– Establishment of sewage treatment plants
– Improving irrigation and farming practices
– Reducing plastic waste
– Rainwater management
– Wetland reclamation
– Correct disposal of oils and chemicals
– Using reusable plastic products or replacing them with paper or cloth products.
– Use the least amount of detergents and bleaches when washing clothes or dishes, and avoid using detergents that contain phosphates, as they lead to algae growth and kill fish by reducing oxygen in the water.
– Avoid throwing garbage near water bodies.