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Because we have a lot of industry in the United States, we also have a lot of pollution. This pollution is often made up of toxic metals, which are also called "heavy metals." Some of these metals are naturally occurring in the human body and are useful, but only in tiny amounts. The problems can occur when larger amounts are ingested in liquid or particle form. The resulting toxicity can cause many health problems and can even be fatal.
Some of the most prevalent and damaging heavy metals are listed below.
Arsenic- Arsenic can be fatal to those exposed at high levels.
Beryllium - This metal can cause lung and skin disease.
Cadmium - Cadmium is extremely toxic and can cause death.
Chromium - Chromium can cause dizziness, intense thirst, abdominal pain, vomiting and shock.
Hexavalent Chromium - This metal can cause lung cancer.
Lead - Lead can cause lead poisoning, which is especially dangerous to young children.
Mercury - Mercury exposure can lead to kidney damage and irreversible nervous system damage.