There’s a hidden unseen danger now lurking in every crumb of soil, every drop of water and every mouthful of air we breathe. It’s pollution by heavy metals-and the potential health risks are terrifying.
Heavy metals have been around since the beginning of time. But they have been locked away in the earth’s crust, and almost unknown to living organisms except in tiny quantities. But with the advent of metal working by humans, and especially since the Industrial Revolution, they have been pouring into the environment in immense, and above all sudden, quantities. The consequences are summarised in today’s link, and excellent paper by by Jessica Briffa and her team  from Heliyon via Science Direct. The work is a tour de force of sustained and careful scholarship. It runs the whole gamut of the hows whys and wherefores. There isn’t room here to do more than scratch its surface, but we urge-no, beg– you, intelligent readers to dip in, if you have ones you love, or even care about the planet.
Sample if you can , from the following list and what they can do to you. There’s Vanadium (Parkinson’s, Alzheimers) Chromium(cancer) Aluminium (liver, kidney, Central Nervous System-for God’s sake, don’t start eating aeroplanes) Cadmium-an old favourite killer of ours, implicated in cancer and DNA dysfunction, innocent sounding ones like Gold and Silver, as well as real sinister heavies like Mercury and Lead. Even the lads down the Dog and Duck are beginning to grasp the significance of the last two. And many, many more in meticuloius and documented detail. (yes, there’s a lot of source material here for teachers of advanced classes) All pouring irretrievably into the oceans, fields and air. All potentially poisonous, if not downright fatal.
It’s trite, it’s a platitude, but we’ll end on it anyway. What a shame on this species, what a comment, that all the money is spent on baroque arms to frighten rival groups of armed hominins, when it might have been spent on ways to clear this altogether more sinister and imminenbt threat.
#metal pollution #industrial revolution #mining #cadmium #mercury #central nervous system #cancer #mining