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Sci Prog. 2012;95(Pt 1):73-88.

Health concerns of heavy metals and metalloids.

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  • rsc@chriscooksey.demon.co.uk


There is a long history and an overwhelming amount of data on the toxicity of heavy metal compounds. Here a brief look is taken of some aspects of the toxicity of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic, chosen for their historical importance and environmental significance, highlighting especially the contrast between the acute and chronic toxicity of purely inorganic species and their organic derivatives. For further details of other toxic metal compounds, the reader might like to consult "Elements of murder: a history of poison" by John Emsley (2005, Oxford University Press).

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