Toxic Heavy Metals
Heavy metal substances can be found in nature, with densities greater than 5 g/cm3 and high atomic masses. They are highly beneficial for industrial use, some of which are toxic for the environment and health.
iQuan has been developed to be capable of portably measuring five toxic heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and chromium), which are enlisted in World Health Organization (WHO) and US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) carcinogens.
Arsenic can be found on the earth’s surface from volcanic eruptions. It is used for pesticide formulations, livestock disinfections, smelting, dyeing, metal forging, and fabrication of electronic devices, etc. We are exposed to arsenic contaminants from drinking water, food, and environmental pollution. Its toxicity adversely affects the circulatory, nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems. A long-term toxic accumulation can result in bladder, skin, and liver cancers.
Cadmium is found naturally in the earth's crust, rivers, and ores in sulfide forms with zinc and copper. It is used in the manufacturing of batteries, metal alloys, plating, pigments, etc. Cadmium adversely affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Symptoms include stomach upsetting, dizziness, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. Long-term cadmium exposure can also lead to lung cancer.
Lead is found in nature on the earth’s crust and ores. In industry, large amounts of lead are released into the environment through the use of fossil fuel, mining, batteries, glassware, pigments, protective radiation equipment productions, etc. Lead poisoning affects the nervous, digestive, and respiratory, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Lead poisonous also affects children’s IQ levels.
Mercury is found in mineral forms. It is useful for industrial lamp manufacturing, coating, dental amalgam, wood fungicides, precious metals, and cosmetic productions. Mercury toxic can cause heart disease, genetic disorders, fatigue, memory loss, etc.
Chromium commonly occurs naturally and mainly in two oxidation states: (1) trivalent chromium (unharmful) and (2) hexavalent chromium (carcinogen). Hexavalent chromium is used in steel manufacturing, leather tanning, fungus removal, etc. Its toxicity adversely affects respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems.