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The original meaning of heavy metals refers to metals with a specific gravity greater than 5, including gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and the like. A metal with a relative density of 4.5 g/cm3 or more is called heavy metal. There are 60 kinds of natural metal elements from 23 (V) to 92 (U) in the periodic table, 54 kinds of the 60 natural metal elements have a relative density greater than 4.5 g/cm3, these all are heavy metals.
The Harm of Heavy Metal to Human Body
Heavy metals accumulate in the human body to a certain extent can cause chronic poisoning. Different kinds of heavy metals have different damage to the human body. Mercury, which can directly enter the liver and cause damage to the optic nerve of the brain; chromium: causing limb numbness and mental disorders; cadmium: causing hypertension and cardiovascular disease, damaging bone calcium leads to renal insufficiency; lead directly damages human brain cells, especially fetal neural plates, leading to congenital brain, mental retardation, dementia and even brain death in the elderly; cobalt causes radiation damage to the skin; vanadium is harmful to the heart, the lungs, causing abnormal cholesterol metabolism. All of these heavy metals can cause headaches, dizziness, insomnia, forgetfulness, neurosis, joint pain, stones, cancer (such as liver, stomach, intestines, bladder, breasts, prostate).
Regulation of Heavy Metal Content
Heavy metals, once accumulated in the human body, can cause great harm to the human body, so the United States has certain requirements on the amount of heavy metal residue that can be extracted. Arsenic: 0.2~1.0 ppm, lead: 0.2~1.0 ppm, cadmium: 0.1 ppm, mercury: 0.02 ppm, copper: 35.0~50.0 ppm, chromium: 1.0~2.0 ppm, cobalt: 1.0~4.0 ppm, nickel: 1.0~4.0 ppm. After the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set the new standard of lead content in candy as 0.1 ppm, which is much stricter than the previous 1.5 ppm.
Source of Heavy Metals in Candy
As a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, heavy metals have penetrated into people's lives and diets. Heavy metals cannot be biodegraded, but instead, they can be enriched in thousands of times under the biomagnification of the food chain, and finally enter the human body. The toxic heavy metal elements in foods are partly derived from the enrichment of heavy metal elements in crops, heavy metal pollution in aquatic animals, and the contamination of food during production, processing, transportation and storage. For example, lead in candy may come from packages and plants grown in lead-contaminated soil.
Prevention of Heavy Metal Poisoning
Experts suggest that we should not eat a lot of foods that are particularly susceptible to heavy metal pollution, aquatic organisms such as shellfish and alfalfa, as well as fish heads, fish skin, oil, internal organs, fish eggs, shark fins, etc. At the same time, we should ensure daily balanced nutrition, pay attention to dietary adjustment, eat more pectin-rich fruits, such as citrus, oranges and apples, as well as fungus, kelp, chinese cabbage and other foods. Increasing the supply of vitamins, reducing the absorption of lead, preventing and slowing lead poisoning to a certain extent. In addition, special attention should be paid to the use of food containers and packaging materials. Glazed pottery, enamelware and some glasses are usually filled with lead glaze, and tin cans also contain lead. These appliances should be used with caution. We need to reduce heavy metal pollution from all aspects of our lives to ensure our safety.
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