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Met Ions Life Sci. 2011;8:143-55.

Metal ions affecting the hematological system.

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  • 1Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta GA 30333, USA.


Many metals are essential elements and necessary for proper biological function at low intake levels. However, exposure to high intake levels of these metals may result in adverse effects. In addition, exposures to mixtures of metals may produce interactions that result in synergistic or antagonistic effects. This chapter focuses on metals that affect the hematological system and how exposures to mixtures of metals may contribute to their hematotoxicity. Exposure to arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, tin or zinc has been shown to produce some effect on the hematological system. Binary interactions resulting from exposure to combinations of metals may increase or decrease the hematotoxicity induced by individual metals. For example, copper, iron, and zinc have been shown to have a protective effect on the hematotoxicity of lead. In contrast, co-exposure to manganese may increase the hematotoxicity of lead.

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