Human beings have been exposed to heavy metal toxins for an immeasurable amount of time. The industrialisation of the world has dramatically increased the overall environmental 'load' of heavy metal toxins, to the point that our societies are dependent upon them for proper functioning. Industry and commercial processes have actively mined, refined, manufactured, burned, and manipulated heavy metal compounds for a number of reasons.
Today, heavy metals are abundant in our drinking water, air and soil due to our increased use of these compounds. They are present in virtually every area of modern consumerism-from construction materials to cosmetics, medicines to processed foods, fuel sources to agents of destruction, appliances to personal care products. It is very difficult for anyone to avoid exposure to any of the many harmful heavy metals that are so prevalent in our environment.
While it does not appear that we are going to neutralise the threat of heavy metal toxicity in our communities, nor decrease our utilisation of the many commercial goods that they help produce, we can take steps to understand this threat and put into action policies of prevention and treatment that may help to lessen the negative impact that these agents have on human health.
The World Health Organization reported in 1974 that at least 90% of all chronic diseases can be attributed to environmental pollution.
Heavy metals were reported to be the major source for the production of free radicals as well as undermining the internal environment and body chemistry. Heavy metals reduce the efficacy of medical treatment by up to 60%.
There is little hope for antioxidants and mineral supplements, if the body is burdened with heavy metals.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW): “Chronic disease is the biggest health challenge facing Australia. In 2001, 78% of respondents in the National Health Survey said they had one or more long-term health conditions.
In 2002 – 2003 there were 6.7 million hospital admissions in Australia, with 1.1 million (17.1%) of these being for only 12 chronic diseases.
By their very definition, chronic diseases develop over a long time. They are a major health problem in all developed countries, accounting for a high proportion of deaths, disability and illness. Yet many of these diseases can be prevented, or their onset delayed, by relatively simple measures”.