We recently received an inquiry from ‘Angel-Ize’ who asked, “In school they taught us the human body flushes out things it does not need or want in it so what’s the big deal about metals like mercury in our water? The body will just excrete it and be on its way. Please explain. Thks.”
To a certain extent the human body CAN and DOES flush out most things (like metals) that it does not require or want to keep. BUT we must keep in mind that although the human body does function (usually) like a well-oiled processing machine, it does not always function perfectly and sometimes traces get ‘stuck’ in the system.
Those stuck ‘traces of metals’ in the system may become a health hazard over time as their quantities increase with the body’s prolonged exposure to more metals.
Additionally, in the case of heavy metals like mercury, for example, scientists have determined that some metals form bonds with organic materials within the body and get absorbed into the body. Those compounds will not leave on their own and overtime may cause a problem as their concentrations in the body increase.
Heavy metals and the food chain?
Our planet has a hierarchical food chain. Everyone knows that. But, did you know that cases of ‘mild contamination’ by heavy metals or other potential toxins at one level of the food chain may have innumerable effects on all levels above it in the food chain?
Example: Fish in a river or lake become contaminated with mercury. We eat the fish. We become home to the mercury in the fish.
Easy to test for metals in water?
Other metals, however, can only get detected using sophisticated laboratory equipment and techniques.