TOXIC SUBSTANCES KNOWN TO CAUSE DEATH, DISEASE, CANCER, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL DISORDERS AND BIRTH DEFECTS
. The following information on inorganic toxic pollutants was taken from the Federal Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.
Laws today protect the welfare of research animals, and scientists must comply with strict animal care guidelines.
But these laws do not apply to humans on farms who are exposed to chemical and biological agents from sludge/biosolids contaminate land, contaminate air, contaminated water and contaminated food. Nor do they apply to home owners who purchase chemical and biological contaminated sludge/biosolids for their lawn and garden.
1.5 How can aluminum affect my health?
Factory workers who breathe large amounts of aluminum dusts can have lung problems, such as coughing or changes that show up in chest aluminum-rays. The use of breathing masks and controls on the levels of dust in factories have eliminated this problem. Some workers who breathe aluminum dusts or aluminum fumes have decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. Some people who have kidney disease store a lot of aluminum in their bodies. The kidney disease causes less aluminum to be removed from the body in the urine. Sometimes these people developed bone or brain diseases that doctors think were caused by the excess aluminum. Some studies show that people exposed to high levels of aluminum may develop Alzheimer's disease, but other studies have not found this to be true. We do not know for certain whether aluminum accumulation is a result of the disease or its cause. People may get skin rashes from the aluminum compounds in some underarm antiperspirants. Rats and hamsters showed signs of lung damage after breathing very large amounts of aluminum as chlorohydrate or pure metal dust. Some animals died when they were given very large amounts of aluminum in water, and others gained less weight than normal. Animals exposed to aluminum appeared weaker and less active in their cages, and were less responsive to loud noises.
1.6 How can aluminum affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Potential effects on children resulting from exposures of the parents are also considered. Children may be exposed to high levels of aluminum in drinking water. Brain and bone disease have been seen in children with kidney disease. Bone disease has also been seen in children taking some medicines containing aluminum. Animals exposed to aluminum appeared weaker and less active in their cages, and some movements appeared less coordinated than animals not exposed to aluminum. In addition, aluminum also made some animals unusually sensitive to high temperature. These effects are similar to those seen in adults. It does not appear that children are more sensitive than adults.
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans.
Children are exposed to arsenic in many of the same ways that adults are. Since arsenic is found in the soil, water, food, and air, children may take in arsenic in the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the food they eat. Since children tend to eat or drink less of a variety of foods and beverages than do adults, ingestion of contaminated food or juice or infant formula made with arsenic-contaminated water may represent a significant source of exposure. In addition, since children often play in the dirt and put their hands in their mouths and sometimes intentionally eat dirt, ingestion of contaminated soil may be a more important source of arsenic exposure for children than for adults. In areas of the United States where natural levels of arsenic in the soil and water are high, or in areas in and around contaminated waste sites, exposure of children to arsenic through ingestion of soil and water may be significant. In addition, contact with adults who are wearing clothes contaminated with arsenic (e.g., with dust from copper- or lead-smelting factories, from wood-treating or pesticide application, or from arsenic-treated wood) could be a source of exposure. Because of the tendency of children to taste things that they find, accidental poisoning from ingestion of pesticides is also a possibility. Thus, although most of the exposure pathways for children are the same as those for adults, children may be at a higher risk of exposure because of their lack of consistent hygiene practices and their curiosity about unknown powders and liquids.
Children who are exposed to arsenic may have many of the same effects as adults, including irritation of the stomach and intestines, blood vessel damage, skin changes, and reduced nerve function. Thus, all health effects observed in adults are of potential concern in children. We do not know if absorption of arsenic from the gut in children differs from adults. There is some information suggesting that children may be less efficient at converting inorganic arsenic to the less harmful organic forms. For this reason, children may be more susceptible to health effects from inorganic arsenic than adults.At present, there is no convincing evidence that inhaled or ingested arsenic can injure pregnant women or their fetuses, although studies in animals show that large doses of arsenic that cause illness in pregnant females can also cause low birth weight, fetal malformations, and even fetal death. Arsenic can cross the placenta and has been found in fetal tissues. Arsenic is found at low levels in breast milk http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs2.html 1.6 How can beryllium affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans.It is likely that the health effects seen in children exposed to beryllium will be similar to the effects seen in adults; chronic beryllium disease was found in a child living near a beryllium factory. We do not know whether children differ from adults in their susceptibility to beryllium.We do not know if exposure to beryllium will result in birth defects or other developmental effects in people. The studies on developmental effects in animals are not conclusive. We have no information to suggest that there are any differences between children and adults in terms of how much beryllium will enter the body, where beryllium can be found in the body, and how fast beryllium will leave the body. It is likely that beryllium can be transferred from the mother to an infant in breast milk or that it can cross the placenta.
1.5 How can beryllium affect my health?
Beryllium is a metal that can be harmful when you breathe it. The effects depend on how much and how long you are exposed to it. When you breathe it in, beryllium can damage your lungs. When you breathe in large amounts of soluble beryllium compounds (greater than 1 mg beryllium per cubic meter of air, 1 mg/m³), the lung damage resembles pneumonia with reddening and swelling of the lungs. This condition is called acute beryllium disease. The lung damage may heal if beryllium exposure is stopped. Human studies have shown that occupational and community ambient air standards were effective in eliminating most acute lung disease. Some people can become sensitive to beryllium. This is known as hypersensitivity or allergy. If you become sensitive (allergic) to beryllium, you may develop an immune or inflammatory reaction to small amounts of beryllium that do not cause effects in people who are not sensitive to beryllium. When this occurs, white cells accumulate around the beryllium and form a chronic inflammatory reaction called granulomas (granulomas are not tumors). This condition is called chronic beryllium disease (CBD). This disease can occur long after exposure (10-15 years) to small amounts of either soluble or insoluble forms of beryllium (greater than 0.0005 mg/m³). If you have this disease, you may feel weak, tired, and have difficulty breathing. Some individuals that have CBD may experience anorexia, weight loss, and blueness of hands and feet.
This disease could also lead to heart enlargement and heart disease in advanced cases. Both the short-term, pneumonia-like disease and the chronic beryllium disease can be fatal.
The potential for cadmium to harm your health depends upon the form of cadmium present, the amount taken into your body, and whether the cadmium is eaten or breathed. There are no known good effects from taking in cadmium. Breathing air with very high levels of cadmium can severely damage the lungs and may cause death. Breathing air with lower levels of cadmium over long periods of time (for years) results in a build-up of cadmium in the kidney, and if sufficiently high, may result in kidney disease. Other effects that may occur after breathing cadmium for a long time are lung damage and fragile bones. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs5.html
1.6 How can chromium affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Children who live near wastes sites where chromium is found are likely to be exposed to higher environmental levels of chromium through breathing, touching soil, and eating contaminated soil. Children at age five years or younger have higher levels of chromium in their urine than do adults and children living outside of contaminated areas. Very few studies have looked at how chromium can affect the health of children. Children need small amounts of chromium(III) for normal growth and development. It is likely that the health effects seen in children exposed to high amounts of chromium will be similar to the effects seen in adults. We do not know whether children differ from adults in their susceptibility to chromium. We do not know if exposure to chromium will result in birth defects or other developmental effects in people. Birth defects have been observed in animals exposed to chromium(VI). Death, skeletal deformities, and impaired development of the reproductive system have been observed in the newborn babies of animals that swallowed chromium(VI). Additional animal studies are needed to determine whether exposure to chromium(III) will result in birth defects. One animal study showed that more chromium(III) will enter the body of a newborn than an adult. We do not know if this is also true for chromium(VI). We have no information to suggest that there are any differences between children and adults in terms of where chromium can be found in the body, and how fast chromium will leave the body. Studies with mice have shown that chromium crosses the placenta and concentrates in fetal tissue. Therefore, pregnant women who were exposed to chromium in the workplace or by living near chromium waste sites may transfer chromium from their blood into the baby where it may build up at levels greater than in the mother. There is some evidence in humans that chromium can be transferred from mother to infant through breast milk
1.5 How can chromium affect my health?
The health effects resulting from exposure to chromium(III) and chromium(VI) are fairly well described in the literature. In general, chromium(VI) is more toxic than chromium(III). Breathing in high levels (greater than 2 µg/m³) chromium(VI), such as in a compound known as chromic acid or chromium(VI) trioxide, can cause irritation to the nose, such as runny nose, sneezing, itching, nosebleeds, ulcers, and holes in the nasal septum. These effects have primarily occurred in factory workers who make or use chromium(VI) for several months to many years.
Long-term exposure to chromium has been associated with lung cancer in workers exposed to levels in air that were 100 to 1,000 times higher than those found in the natural environment. Lung cancer may occur long after exposure to chromium has ended. Chromium (VI) is believed to be primarily responsible for the increased lung cancer rates observed in workers who were exposed to high levels of chromium in workroom air. Breathing in small amounts of chromium(VI) for short or long periods does not cause a problem in most people.
However, high levels of chromium in the workplace have caused asthma attacks in people who are allergic to chromium. Breathing in chromium(III) does not cause irritation to the nose or mouth in most people. In the same way, small amounts of chromium(VI) that you swallow will not hurt you; however, accidental or intentional swallowing of larger amounts has caused stomach upsets and ulcers, convulsions, kidney and liver damage, and even death. The levels of chromium(VI) that caused these effects were far greater than those that you might be exposed to in food or water. Although chromium(III) in small amounts is a nutrient needed by the body, swallowing large amounts of chromium(III) may cause health problems. Workers handling liquids or solids that have chromium(VI) in them have developed skin ulcers. Some people have been found to be extremely sensitive to chromium(VI) or chromium(III).
Allergic reactions consisting of severe redness and swelling of the skin have been noted. Exposure to chromium(III) is less likely than exposure to chromium(VI) to cause skin rashes in chromium-sensitive people. The metal, chromium(0), is less common and does not occur naturally. We do not know much about how it affects your health, but chromium(0) is not currently believed to cause a serious health risk.
We have no reliable information that any form of chromium has harmful effects on reproduction or causes birth defects in humans, though it does not seem likely that the amount of chromium that most people are exposed to will result in reproductive or developmental effects. In animals that breathed high levels of chromium, harmful effects on the respiratory system and a lower ability to fight disease were noted. However, we do not know if chromium can lower a person's ability to fight disease. Some of the female mice that were given chromium(VI) by mouth had fewer offspring and had offspring with birth defects. Some male mice that were given chromium(VI) or chromium(III) by mouth had decreased numbers of sperm in the testes. The birth defects or the decrease in sperm occurred in mice at levels about several thousand times higher than the normal daily intake by humans. Some chromium(VI) compounds produced lung cancer in animals that breathed in the particles or had the particles placed directly in their lungs. In animals that were injected with some chromium(VI) compounds, tumors formed at the site of injection.
Because some chromium(VI) compounds have been associated with lung cancer in workers and caused cancer in animals, the Department of Health and Human Services has determined that certain chromium(VI) compounds (calcium chromate, chromium trioxide, lead chromate, strontium chromate, and zinc chromate) are known human carcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that chromium(VI) is carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of chromium(VI) compounds as found in chromate production, chromate pigment production, and chromium plating industries. IARC's determination is also based on sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of calcium chromate, zinc chromate, strontium chromate, and lead chromate; and limited evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of chromium trioxide (chromic acid) and sodium dichromate. IARC has also determined that chromium(0) and chromium(III) compounds are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans.
The EPA has determined that chromium(VI) in air is a human carcinogen. The EPA has also determined that there is insufficient information to determine whether chromium(VI) in water or food and chromium(III) are human carcinogens http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs7.html
1.6 How can cobalt affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Children can be exposed to cobalt in the same ways as adults. In addition, cobalt may be transferred from the pregnant mother to the fetus or from the mother to the infant in the breast milk. Children may be affected by cobalt the same ways as adults. Studies in animals have suggested that children may absorb more cobalt from foods and liquids containing cobalt than adults. Babies exposed to radiation while in their mother's womb are believed to be much more sensitive to the effects of radiation than adults
1.5 How can cobalt affect my health?
When too much cobalt is taken into your body, however, harmful health effects can occur. Workers who breathed air containing 0.038 mg cobalt/m3 (about 100,000 times the concentration normally found in ambient air) for 6 hours had trouble breathing. Serious effects on the lungs, including asthma, pneumonia, and wheezing, have been found in people exposed to 0.005 mg cobalt/m3 while working with hard metal, a cobalt-tungsten carbide alloy. People exposed to 0.007 mg cobalt/m3 at work have also developed allergies to cobalt that resulted in asthma and skin rashes. The general public, however, is not likely to be exposed to the same type or amount of cobalt dust that caused these effects in workers.
In the 1960s, some breweries added cobalt salts to beer to stabilize the foam (resulting in exposures of 0.04-0.14 mg cobalt/kg). Some people who drank excessive amounts of beer (8- 25 pints/day) experienced serious effects on the heart. In some cases, these effects resulted in death. Nausea and vomiting were usually reported before the effects on the heart were noticed. Cobalt is no longer added to beer so you will not be exposed from this source. The effects on the heart, however, may have also been due to the fact that the beer-drinkers had protein-poor diets and may have already had heart damage from alcohol abuse. Effects on the heart were not seen, however, in people with anemia treated with up to 1 mg cobalt/kg, or in pregnant women with anemia treated with 0.6 mg cobalt/kg. Effects on the thyroid were found in people exposed to 0.5 mg cobalt/kg for a few weeks. Vision problems were found in one man following treatment with 1.3 mg cobalt/kg for 6 weeks, but this effect has not been seen in other human or animal studies.
Being exposed to radioactive cobalt may be very dangerous to your health. If you come near radioactive cobalt, cells in your body can become damaged from gamma rays that can penetrate your entire body, even if you do not touch the radioactive cobalt. Radiation from radioactive cobalt can also damage cells in your body if you eat, drink, breathe, or touch anything that contains radioactive cobalt. The amount of damage depends on the amount of radiation to which you are exposed, which is related to the amount of activity in the radioactive material and the length of time that you are exposed. Most of the information regarding health effects from exposure to radiation comes from exposures for only short time periods. The risk of damage from exposure to very low levels of radiation for long time periods is not known. If you are exposed to enough radiation, you might experience a reduction in white blood cell number, which could lower your resistance to infections. Your skin might blister or burn, and you may lose hair from the exposed areas. This happens to cancer patients treated with large amounts of radiation to kill cancer. Cells in your reproductive system could become damaged and cause temporary sterility. Exposure to lower levels of radiation might cause nausea, and higher levels can cause vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, coma, and even death. Exposure to radiation can also cause changes in the genetic materials within cells and may result in the development of some types of cancer.
Studies in animals suggest that exposure to high amounts of nonradioactive cobalt during pregnancy might affect the health of the developing fetus. Birth defects, however, have not been found in children born to mothers who were treated with cobalt for anemia during pregnancy. The doses of cobalt used in the animal studies were much higher than the amounts of cobalt to which humans would normally be exposed.
Nonradioactive cobalt has not been found to cause cancer in humans or in animals following exposure in the food or water. Cancer has been shown, however, in animals who breathed cobalt or when cobalt was placed directly into the muscle or under the skin.
Based on the animal data, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that cobalt is possibly carcinogenic to humans.Much of our knowledge of cobalt toxicity is based on animal studies. Cobalt is essential for the growth and development of certain animals, such as cows and sheep. Short-term exposure of rats to high levels of cobalt in the air results in death and lung damage. Longer-term exposure of rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and pigs to lower levels of cobalt in the air results in lung damage and an increase in red blood cells. Short-term exposure of rats to high levels of cobalt in the food or drinking water results in effects on the blood, liver, kidneys, and heart. Longer-term exposure of rats, mice, and guinea pigs to lower levels of cobalt in the food or drinking water results in effects on the same tissues (heart, liver, kidneys, and blood) as well as the testes, and also causes effects on behavior. Sores were seen on the skin of guinea pigs following skin contact with cobalt for 18 days. Generally, cobalt compounds that dissolve easily in water are more harmful than those that are hard to dissolve in water.
Much of what we know about the effects of radioactive cobalt comes from studies in animals. The greatest danger of radiation seen in animals is the risk to the developing animal, with even moderate amounts of radiation causing changes in the fetus. High radiation doses in animals have also been shown to cause temporary or permanent sterility and changes in the lungs, which affected the animals' breathing. The blood of exposed animals has lower numbers of white blood cells, the cells that aid in resistance to infections, and red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the blood. Radioactive cobalt exposures in animals have also caused genetic damage to cells, cancer, and even death http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs33.html
1.6 How can copper affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects in humans from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age. Exposure to high levels of copper will result in the same types of effects in children and adults. We do not know if these effects would occur at the same dose level in children and adults. Studies in animals suggest that children may have more severe effects than adults; we do not know if this would also be true in humans. There is a very small percentage of infants and children who are unusually sensitive to copper. We do not know if copper can cause birth defects or other developmental effects in humans. Studies in animals suggest that ingestion of high levels of copper may cause a decrease in fetal growth.
1.5 How can copper affect my health?
Long-term exposure to copper dust can irritate your nose, mouth, and eyes, and cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. If you drink water that contains higher than normal levels of copper, you may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. Intentionally high intakes of copper can cause liver and kidney damage and even death. We do not know if copper can cause cancer in humans. EPA does not classify copper as a human carcinogen because there are no adequate human or animal cancer studies. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs132.html
1.6 How can lead affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Potential effects on children resulting from exposures of the parents are also considered. Studies carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the levels of lead in the blood of U.S. children have been getting lower and lower. This is because lead is banned from gasoline, residential paint, and solder that is used for food cans and water pipes. Still, about 900,000 U.S. children between the ages of 1 and 5 years are believed to have blood lead levels equal or greater than 10 µg/dL, the CDC level of concern. Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults. Children are exposed to lead all through their lives. They can be exposed to lead in the womb if their mothers have lead in their bodies. Babies can swallow lead when they breast feed, or eat other foods and drink water that contains lead. Babies and children can swallow and breathe lead in dirt, dust, or sand while they play on the floor or ground. These activities make it easier for children to be exposed to lead than adults. The dirt or dust on their hands, toys, and other items may have lead particles in it. In some cases children swallow nonfood items such as paint chips; these may contain very large amounts of lead, particularly in and around older houses that were painted with lead-based paint. The paint in these houses often chips off and mixes with dust and dirt. Some old paint is 5-40% lead. Also, compared to adults, a bigger proportion of the amount of lead swallowed will enter the blood in children. Children are more sensitive to the effects of lead than adults. Lead affects children in different ways depending how much lead a child swallows. A child who swallows large amounts of lead will develop blood anemia, kidney damage, colic (severe "stomachache"), muscle weakness, and brain damage which can kill the child. A large amount of lead might get into a child's body if the child ate small pieces of old paint that contained large amounts of lead. If a child swallows smaller amounts of lead, much less severe effects on blood and brain function may occur. In this case, recovery is likely once the child is removed from the source of lead exposure and the amount of lead in the child's body is lowered by giving the child certain drugs that help eliminate lead from the body. At still lower levels of exposure, lead can affect a child's mental and physical growth. Fetuses exposed to lead in the womb, because their mothers had a lot of lead in their bodies, may be born prematurely and have lower weights at birth. Exposure in the womb, in infancy, or in early childhood may also slow mental development and lower intelligence later in childhood. There is evidence that some effects may persist beyond childhood.
1.5 How can lead affect my health?
The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and in children. Long- term exposure of adults to lead at work has resulted in decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. Lead exposure may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, or ankles. Some studies in humans have suggested that lead exposure may increase blood pressure, but the evidence is inconclusive. Lead exposure may also cause anemia, a low number of blood cells. The connection between the occurrence of some of these effects (e.g., increased blood pressure, altered function of the nervous system) and low levels of exposure to lead is not certain. At high levels of exposure, lead can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. High-level exposure in men can damage the organs responsible for sperm production.
We have no proof that lead causes cancer in humans. Kidney tumors have developed in rats and mice given large doses of lead. The animal studies have been criticized because of the very high doses used, among other things. The results of high-dose studies should not be used to predict whether lead may cause cancer in humans. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that lead acetate and lead phosphate may reasonably be expected to be capable of causing cancer, based on sufficient evidence from animal studies, but there is inadequate evidence from human studies
Adverse health effects have also been observed in children who cannot get rid of extra manganese from their body, such as children whose livers do not function properly. These effects include a lack of control over movements in their arms and legs, a tendency to overbalance when walking, and uncontrollable shaking in their arms and hands. In addition to children with problems removing excess manganese from their bodies, some, but not all, children who must have liquid-form nutrition injected into their veins, called total parenteral nutrition (TPN), have also shown these effects. In the cases involving liquid diets, the children had no control over the foods they ate, and there may have been too much manganese in the liquid food. These same effects have been observed in adults with similar liver conditions or on liquid diets. More serious health effects are typically observed only in people who have inhaled manganese in a work environment for many years. These occupational environments tend to have manganese levels that are much higher than the typical environment (10-70 nanograms/m³ in urban areas with no significant sources of manganese). The severe and permanent neurological effects and mood swings that might be anticipated from occupational studies of adults have not been reported in children. Workers who have been overexposed to manganese particles in the air have suffered wild mood swings, uncontrollable laughter or crying at inappropriate times, and abnormal facial expressions (stiff with grimacing or blank with no expression). Similar effects have also been seen in monkeys who have been injected with low levels of manganese for only a few days. These serious effects of manganese overexposure might be expected in children who have been exposed to high concentrations of manganese for extended periods, although it is not known for sure. The levels of manganese children would have to breathe or eat before they showed these effects is not known.
Limited information suggests that higher-than-usual amounts of manganese can cause birth defects. One study in humans suggests that high levels of exposure to environmental manganese (in the soil, water, air, or food) might increase the chances of birth defects. However, it is not possible to reach a conclusion from this study because other factors were present that may have caused the birth defects. Studies involving animals exposed to manganese in air are limited. One study in animals shows that exposure of pregnant females to high levels of manganese in air resulted in decreased body weight in the pups. Other studies investigating birth defects have used different exposure methods. One study that involved exposing pregnant rats and their offspring to manganese in drinking water (over 21,000 times the amount that is typically recommended as safe for people to eat each day) found that the rat pups had a short-lived decrease in body weight and an increase in activity. Higher concentrations (approximately 37,000 times the recommended safe amount for humans) of manganese provided in food to animals were associated with decreased activity, while lower concentrations (approximately 1,100 times the recommended safe amount for humans) given all at once each day to rodents can cause delays in the growth of reproductive organs, decreased pup weight, mistakes in skeletal formation, behavioral differences in animals, and changes in the brain.
Other studies in which pregnant animals have been injected with manganese show that negative effects can be seen in unborn pups. These studies have reported delays in formation of skeletal bones and internal organs, suggesting that the skeletal system is a target for birth defects caused by manganese. However, except when manganese is administered via a liquid form of nutrition injected into their veins, humans are not exposed to manganese through injection.
Because manganese is a normal part of the human body, it is always present in the tissues and bloodstream of the mother; in addition, it can cross the placenta and enter an unborn baby. Manganese has been measured in plasma from the umbilical cord blood of premature and full_term babies, as well as in the blood of their mothers. The concentrations of manganese found in full_term babies were slightly higher than the concentrations found in premature babies, though these levels were not significantly different. Also, manganese levels in the livers of pregnant rats were much higher than those in non-pregnant rats, and the manganese levels in their unborn pups were higher than usual. Although the few available animal studies indicate that excess manganese interferes with normal development of the fetus, the relevance of these studies to humans is not known. There is no information available on the effects in pregnant women from exposure to excess levels of manganese in air, food, or water.
Manganese is necessary for proper nutrition for a rapidly growing infant. The element is present in breast milk at approximately 4-10 µg/L, an amount that appears to be adequate for a nursing baby. Studies show that infant formulas contain more manganese than breast milk, but that infants absorb the same proportion of manganese from infant formulas, cow's milk, and breast milk. However, because cow milk formulas and soy formulas contain much larger amounts of manganese than breast milk, infants who are fed these formulas ingest much higher amounts of manganese than breast-fed infants. Whether these higher amounts of manganese are unhealthy for the infant is unknown. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs151.html
1.6 How can mercury affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Potential effects on children resulting from exposures of the parents are also considered.
Children are at risk of being exposed to metallic mercury that is not safely contained, to mercury that may be brought home on work clothes or tools, or to methylmercury- contaminated foods. Methylmercury eaten or swallowed by a pregnant woman or metallic mercury that enters her body from breathing contaminated air can also pass into the developing child. Inorganic mercury and methylmercury can also pass from a mother's body into breast milk and into a nursing infant. The amount of mercury in the milk will vary, depending on the degree of exposure and the amount of mercury that enter the nursing woman's body. There are significant benefits to breast feeding, so any concern that a nursing woman may have about mercury levels in her breast milk should be discussed with her doctor. Methylmercury can also accumulate in an unborn baby's blood to a concentration higher than the concentration in the mother.
For similar exposure routes and forms of mercury, the harmful health effects seen in children are similar to the effects seen in adults. High exposure to mercury vapor causes lung, stomach, and intestinal damage and death due to respiratory failure in severe cases. These effects are similar to those seen in adult groups exposed to inhaled metallic mercury vapors at work.
Children who had been exposed to excessive amounts of mercurous chloride tablets for worms or mercurous chloride-containing powders for teething discomfort had increased heart rates and elevated blood pressure. Abnormal heart rhythms were also seen in children who had eaten grains contaminated with very high levels of methylmercury. Other symptoms of poisonings in children who were treated with mercurous chloride for constipation, worms, or teething discomfort included swollen red gums, excessive salivation, weight loss, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain, and muscle twitching or cramping in the legs and/or arms. Kidney damage is very common after exposure to toxic levels of inorganic mercury. Metallic mercury or methylmercury that enters the body can also be converted to inorganic mercury and result in kidney damage.
Children who breathe metallic/elemental mercury vapors, eat foods or other substances containing phenylmercury or inorganic mercury salts, or use mercury-containing skin ointments for an extended period may develop a disorder known as acrodynia, or pink disease. Acrodynia can result in severe leg cramps; irritability; and abnormal redness of the skin, followed by peeling of the hands, nose, and soles of the feet. Itching, swelling, fever, fast heart rate, elevated blood pressure, excessive salivation or sweating, rashes, fretfulness, sleeplessness, and/or weakness may also be present. It was once believed that this syndrome occurred only in children, but recent reported cases in teenagers and adults have shown that they can also develop acrodynia.
In critical periods of development before they are born, and in the early months after birth, children and fetuses are particularly sensitive to the harmful effects of metallic mercury and methylmercury on the nervous system. Harmful developmental effects may occur when a pregnant woman is exposed to metallic mercury and some of the mercury is transferred into her developing child. Thus, women who are normally exposed to mercury vapors in the workplace (such as those working in thermometer/barometer or fluorescent light manufacturing or the chlor-alkali industry) should take measures to avoid mercury vapor exposures during pregnancy. Exposures to mercury vapors are relatively rare outside of the workplace, unless metallic mercury is present in the home.
As with mercury vapors, exposure to methylmercury is more dangerous for young children than for adults, because more methylmercury easily passes into the developing brain of young children and may interfere with the development process.
Methylmercury is the form of mercury most commonly associated with a risk for developmental effects. Exposure can come from foods contaminated with mercury on the surface (for example, from seed grain treated with methylmercury to kill fungus) or from foods that contain toxic levels of methylmercury (as in some fish, wild game, and marine mammals). Mothers who are exposed to methylmercury and breast-feed their infant may also expose the child through the milk. The effects on the infant may be subtle or more pronounced, depending on the amount to which the fetus or young child was exposed. In cases in which the exposure was relatively small, some effects might not be apparent, such as small decreases in IQ or effects on the brain that may only be determined by the use of very sensitive neuropsychological testing. In instances in which the exposure is great, the effects may be more serious. In some such cases of mercury exposure involving serious exposure to the developing fetus, the effects are delayed. In such cases, the infant may be born apparently normal, but later show effects that may range from the infant being slower to reach developmental milestones, such as the age of first walking and talking, to more severe effects including brain damage with mental retardation, incoordination, and inability to move. Other severe effects observed in children whose mothers were exposed to very toxic levels of mercury during pregnancy include eventual blindness, involuntary muscle contractions and seizures, muscle weakness, and inability to speak. It is important to remember, however, that the severity of these effects depends upon the level of mercury exposure and the length of exposure. The very severe effects just mentioned were reported in large-scale poisoning instances in which pregnant and nursing women were exposed to extremely high levels of methylmercury in contaminated grain used to make bread (in Iraq) or seafood (in Japan) sold to the general population.
Researchers are currently studying the potential for less serious developmental effects, including effects on a child's behavior and ability to learn, think, and solve problems that may result from eating lower levels of methylmercury in foods. A main source of exposure to methylmercury for the pregnant woman and the young child is from eating fish. Most fish purchased in the market in the United States do not have mercury levels that pose a risk to anyone, including pregnant women. Since mercury accumulates in the muscles of fish, larger fish that feed on smaller fish and live for long periods usually have larger concentrations of methylmercury than fish that feed on plants. For example, shark and swordfish normally contain the highest levels of mercury out of all ocean fish. Scientists have an ongoing debate about the value of fish in the diet versus any risk from increased exposure of pregnant women to methylmercury that may be in the fish. The safety of most fish sold commercially in the United States is regulated by the FDA. These fish pose no health risk to those who purchase and eat them. Only fish or wildlife containing relatively high levels of methylmercury are of concern http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs46.html
1.6 How can nickel affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans.
It is likely that the health effects seen in children exposed to nickel will be similar to the effects seen in adults. We do not know whether children differ from adults in their susceptibility to nickel. Human studies that examined whether nickel can harm the developing fetus are inconclusive. Animal studies have found increases in newborn deaths and decreases in newborn weight after ingesting nickel. These doses are 1,000 times higher than levels typically found in drinking water. It is likely that nickel can be transferred from the mother to an infant in breast milk and can cross the placenta
1.5 How can nickel affect my health?
Laws today protect the welfare of research animals, and scientists must comply with strict animal care guidelines
The most common harmful health effect of nickel in humans is an allergic reaction to nickel. Approximately 10-15% of the population is sensitive to nickel. A person can become sensitive to nickel when jewelry or other things containing nickel are in direct contact with the skin. Wearing earrings containing nickel in pierced ears may also sensitize a person to nickel. Once a person is sensitized to nickel, further contact with the metal will produce a reaction. The most common reaction is a skin rash at the site of contact. In some sensitized people, dermatitis (a type of skin rash) may develop in an area of the skin that is away from the site of contact. For example, hand eczema (another type of skin rash) is fairly common among people sensitized to nickel. Less frequently, some people who are sensitive to nickel have asthma attacks following exposure to nickel. People who are sensitive to nickel have reactions when nickel comes into contact with the skin. Some sensitized individuals react when they eat nickel in food or water or breathe dust containing nickel. More women are sensitive to nickel than men. This difference between men and women is thought to be a result of greater exposure of women to nickel through jewelry and other metal items. People who are not sensitive to nickel must eat very large amounts of nickel to suffer harmful health effects. Workers who accidentally drank light-green water containing 250 ppm of nickel from a contaminated drinking fountain had stomach aches and suffered adverse effects in their blood (increased red blood cells) and kidneys (increased protein in the urine). This concentration of nickel is more than 100,000 times greater than the amount usually found in drinking water.
The most serious harmful health effects from exposure to nickel, such as chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, and cancer of the lung and nasal sinus, have occurred in people who have breathed dust containing nickel compounds while working in nickel refineries or nickel- processing plants. The levels of nickel in these workplaces were much higher than usual (background) levels in the environment. Lung and nasal sinus cancers occurred in workers who were exposed to more than 10 mg nickel/m³ as nickel compounds that were hard to dissolve (such as nickel subsulfide). Exposure to high levels of nickel compounds that dissolve easily in water (soluble) may also result in cancer when nickel compounds that are hard to dissolve (less soluble) are present, or when other chemicals that can cause cancer are present. The concentrations of soluble and less-soluble nickel compounds that were found to have caused cancers were 100,000 to 1 million times greater than the usual level of nickel in the air in the United States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that nickel metal may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen and nickel compounds are known human carcinogens. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that some nickel compounds are carcinogenic to humans and that metallic nickel may possibly be carcinogenic to humans. The EPA has determined that nickel refinery dust and nickel subsulfide are human carcinogens. Lung inflammation and damage to the nasal cavity have been observed in animals exposed to nickel compounds. At high concentrations, the lung damage is severe enough to affect lung function. Long-term exposure to lower levels of a nickel compound that dissolves easily in water did not cause cancer in animals. Lung cancer developed in rats exposed for a long time to nickel compounds that do not dissolve easily in water.
Oral exposure of humans to high levels of soluble nickel compounds through the environment is extremely unlikely. Because humans have only rarely been exposed to high levels of nickel in water or food, much of our knowledge of the harmful effects of nickel is based on animal studies. Eating or drinking levels of nickel much greater than the levels normally found in food and water have been reported to cause lung disease in dogs and rats and to affect the stomach, blood, liver, kidneys, and immune system in rats and mice, as well as their reproduction and development http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs15.html
1.5 How can selenium affect my health?
The general public rarely breathes high levels of selenium, although some people may be exposed to selenium dust and selenium compounds in workplace air. Dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of mucous membranes have been reported in people exposed to selenium in workplace air at concentrations higher than legal levels. In extreme cases, collection of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and severe bronchitis have been reported. The exact exposure levels at which these effects might occur are not known, but they become more likely with increasing amounts of selenium and with increasing frequency of exposure. The normal intake of selenium by eating food is enough to meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for this essential nutrient. However, as discussed in Chapters 2 and 3 of this profile, selenium compounds can be harmful at daily dietary levels that are higher than needed. The seriousness of the effects of excess selenium depends on how much selenium is eaten and how often. Intentional or accidental swallowing of a large amount of sodium selenate or sodium selenite (for example, a very large quantity of selenium supplement pills) could be life-threatening without immediate medical treatment. Even if mildly excessive amounts of selenium are eaten over long periods, brittle hair and deformed nails can develop. In extreme cases, people may lose feeling and control in arms and legs. These health effects, called selenosis, were seen in several villages in China where people were exposed to foods high in selenium for months to years. No human populations in the United States have been reported with long-term selenium poisoning, including populations in the western part of the country where selenium levels are naturally high in the soil. Because most people in the United States eat foods produced in many different areas, overexposure to selenium in food is unlikely to occur.
In some regions of China where soil levels of selenium are very low, not eating enough selenium has resulted in health effects. Selenium is used by the body in antioxidant enzymes that protect against damage to tissues done by oxygen, and in an enzyme that affects growth and metabolism. Not eating enough selenium can cause heart problems and muscle pain. Muscle pain has also been noted in people fed intravenously for a long time with solutions that did not contain selenium. Babies born early may be more sensitive to not having enough selenium, and this may contribute to lung effects. In the United States, selenium in food is sufficient to meet the RDA and prevent harmful effects from not enough selenium.
Upon contact with human skin, industrial selenium compounds have been reported to cause rashes, redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Brief, acute exposure of the eyes to selenium dioxide as a dust or fume in workplace air may result in burning, irritation, and tearing. However, only people who work in industries that process or use selenium or selenium compounds are likely to come into contact with levels high enough to cause eye irritation. Studies of laboratory animals and people show that most selenium compounds probably do not cause cancer. In fact, some studies of cancer in humans suggest that lower-than-normal selenium levels in the diet might increase the risk of cancer. Other studies suggest that dietary levels of selenium that are higher than normal might reduce the risk of cancer in humans. However, taking selenium so that your daily amount is greater than that required might just increase your risk of selenium poisoning.
Based on studies done until 1987, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that selenium and selenium compounds could not be classified as to their ability to cause cancer in humans. However, since then, the EPA has determined that one specific form of selenium, called selenium sulfide, is a probable human carcinogen. Selenium sulfide is the only selenium compound shown to cause cancer in animals. Rats and mice that were fed selenium sulfide daily at very high levels developed cancer. Selenium sulfide is not present in foods, and it is a very different chemical from the organic and inorganic selenium compounds found in foods and in the environment. Also, if introduced into the environment, selenium sulfide does not dissolve readily in water and would probably bind tightly to the soil, further reducing any chance of exposure. Because selenium sulfide is not absorbed through the skin, the use of anti-dandruff shampoos containing selenium sulfide is generally considered safe.
Very high amounts of selenium have caused decreased sperm counts, increased abnormal sperm, changes in the female reproductive cycle in rats, and changes in the menstrual cycle in monkeys. The relevance of the reproductive effects of selenium exposure in animals studied to potential reproductive effects in humans is not known. Selenium compounds have not been shown to cause birth defects in humans or in other mammals http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs92.html
1.4 How can thallium affect my health?
Thallium can affect your nervous system, lung, heart, liver, and kidney if large amounts are eaten or drunk for short periods of time. Temporary hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea can also occur and death may result after exposure to large amounts of thallium for short periods. Thallium can be fatal from a dose as low as 1 gram. No information was found on health effects in humans after exposure to smaller amounts of thallium for longer periods. Birth defects observed in children of mothers exposed to small amounts of thallium did not occur more often than would be expected in the general population. The length of time and the amount of thallium eaten by the mothers are not known exactly. As in humans, animal studies indicate that exposure to large amounts of thallium for brief periods of time can damage the nervous system and heart and can cause death. Animal reproductive organs, especially the testes, are damaged after drinking small amounts of thalliumcontaminated water for 2 months. These effects have not been seen in humans. No information was found on effects in animals after exposure to small amounts of thallium for longer periods of time. No studies were found on whether thallium can cause cancer in humans or animals 1.3 How can thallium enter and leave my body?
Thallium can enter your body when you eat food or drink water contaminated with thallium, breathe thallium in the air, and when your skin comes in contact with it. When thallium is swallowed most of it is absorbed and rapidly goes to various parts of your body, especially the kidney and liver. Thallium leaves your body slowly. Most of the thallium leaves your body in urine and to a lesser extent in feces. It can be found in urine within 1 hour after exposure. After 24 hours, increasing amounts are found in feces. It can be found in urine as long as 2 months after exposure. About half the thallium that enters various parts of your body leaves them within 3 days.
The significant, likely routes of exposure near hazardous waste sites are through swallowing thalliumcontaminated soil or dust, drinking contaminated water, and skin contact with contaminated soil
1.6 How can tin and tin compounds affect children?
This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans.
Children can be exposed to tin compounds (inorganic or organic) in the same manner as adults: through the diet or by contact with contaminated soil at or near hazardous waste sites where these compounds are found. Some children eat significant amounts of dirt (a behavior called pica), which may lead to increased exposure if the soil is contaminated. In addition, children can be exposed if family members work with tin compounds and bring home tin residues in their clothing or tools.
There are no studies on health effects in children exposed to tin compounds. However, it is reasonable to assume that children would exhibit the same type of health effects observed in exposed adults. We do not know whether children are more susceptible to the effects of exposure to tin and tin compounds than adults. There are no reports of adverse developmental effects in humans exposed to tin or its compounds, nor of inorganic tin in animals. Studies in animals have shown that organotin compounds can cross the placenta and reach the fetus. Exposure of rodents to some organotins during pregnancy has produced birth defects in the newborn animals. The results of several studies suggest that this may occur only at high exposure levels that cause maternal toxicity, but further research is needed to clarify this issue. One study found that rats whose mothers were exposed to tributyltin during pregnancy showed altered performance in some neurological tests conducted when they were young adults. Another study, also with tributyltin, found that exposure during gestation, lactation, and post-lactation affected some developmental landmarks in female rats. There are no reports of tin or tin compounds in human breast milk, and there is no direct evidence in animals of transfer of these compounds to the young through nursing
1.5 How can tin and tin compounds affect my health?
Because inorganic tin compounds usually enter and leave your body rapidly after you breathe or eat them, they do not usually cause harmful effects. However, humans who swallowed large amounts of inorganic tin in a research study suffered stomach aches, anemia, and liver and kidney problems. Studies with inorganic tin in animals have shown similar effects to those observed in humans. There is no evidence that inorganic tin compounds affect reproductive functions, produce birth defects, or cause genetic changes. Inorganic tin compounds are not known to cause cancer.
Inhalation (breathing in), oral (eating or drinking), or dermal exposure (skin contact) to some organotin compounds has been shown to cause harmful effects in humans, but the main effect will depend on the particular organotin compound. There have been reports of skin and eye irritation, respiratory irritation, gastrointestinal effects, and neurological problems in humans exposed for a short period of time to high amounts of certain organotin compounds. Some neurological problems have persisted for years after the poisoning occurred. Lethal cases have been reported following ingestion of very high amounts. Studies in animals have shown that certain organotins mainly affect the immune system, but a different type primarily affects the nervous system. Yet, there are some organotins that exhibit very low toxicity. Exposure of pregnant rats and mice to some organotin compounds has reduced fertility and caused stillbirth, but scientists still are not sure whether this occurs only with doses that are also toxic to the mother. Some animal studies also suggested that reproductive organs of males may be affected. There are no studies of cancer in humans exposed to organotin compounds. Studies of a few organotins in animals suggest that some organotin compounds can produce cancer. On the basis of no data in humans and questionable data from a study in rats, EPA has determined that one specific organotin, tributyltin oxide, is not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity; that is, it is not known whether or not it causes cancer in humans
Inhaling large amounts of zinc (as zinc dust or fumes from smelting or welding) can cause a specific short-term disease called metal fume fever. However, very little is known about the long-term effects of breathing zinc dust or fumes.
Taking too much zinc into the body through food, water, or dietary supplements can also affect health. The levels of zinc that produce adverse health effects are much higher than the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for zinc of 11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women. If large doses of zinc (10-15 times higher than the RDA) are taken by mouth even for a short time, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Ingesting high levels of zinc for several months may cause anemia, damage the pancreas, and decrease levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Eating food containing very large amounts of zinc (1,000 times higher than the RDA) for several months caused many health effects in rats, mice, and ferrets, including anemia and injury to the pancreas and kidney. Rats that ate very large amounts of zinc became infertile. Rats that ate very large amounts of zinc after becoming pregnant had smaller babies. Putting low levels of certain zinc compounds, such as zinc acetate and zinc chloride, on the skin of rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice caused skin irritation. Skin irritation from exposure to these chemicals would probably occur in humans. EPA has determined that because of lack of information, zinc is not classifiable as to its human carcinogenicity. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/phs60.html