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Metals with a relative density of 5 or more are called heavy metals, including gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, etc. Heavy metals accumulating in the human body to a certain extent can cause chronic poisoning. Heavy metals are very difficult to biodegrade, but instead they can be enriched thousands of times under the biomagnification of the food chain, and finally enter the human body. Heavy metals can interact strongly with proteins and enzymes in the human body, making them inactive.
The Reason of Excessive Heavy metals in Meat
There are two main sources of heavy metals in meat. First, in order to promote the growth and appearance of animals, many breeders use high-heavy metal feeds in the education of feed mills or experts, but some feed’s heavy metals are seriously exceeded. Second, when animals eat plants and drink water contaminated by heavy metals, heavy metals will accumulate in the animals. Meat products made from these animals will contain heavy metals, which is the main reason for the excessive amount of heavy metals in meat.
The Harm of Heavy Metals in Meat
The heavy metals that should be controlled in meat products mainly include lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and chromium. Excessive levels of heavy metals in meats can cause a series of hazards to the human body, such as heavy metal poisoning, and even death. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that is extremely harmful to the human body. Excessive intake of lead in the human body will have toxic effects on blood circulation, nerves, digestion and urinary system, affecting human development, especially intelligence and bone development. Cadmium is a heavy metal that poses a serious health hazard to humans. Cadmium protein is formed after cadmium is absorbed by the body. It selectively accumulates in the kidneys and liver. The kidney is the "target organ" of cadmium poisoning. Cadmium affects the normal function of the liver and kidney enzyme system, which hinders the metabolism of bones, leading to osteoporosis, atrophy, deformation and so on. Metallic mercury poisoning often results from mercury vapor, which enters the alveoli through the respiratory tract and is transported throughout the body through the blood circulation, causing headache, dizziness, movement disorders, etc.
Heavy Metal in Meat Must Comply with Regulation
In order to eliminate the toxic effects of heavy metals on humans, each country has relevant limit standards that vary from country to country. According to the relevant regulations of the European Union, the limit standards for heavy metals in meat are: lead ≤ 0.1 mg/kg, cadmium ≤ 0.05 mg/kg, mercury ≤ 0.5 mg/kg.
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