The topic of heavy metals in household items has many individuals concerned for their safety. In order to understand the health effects of heavy metals, we first have to understand what that means. Metals in the environment are naturally occurring, and humans and animals have been exposed to some level of metals in their homes, food, and water, for a long time.
Heavy metals can become toxic if they over accumulate and can pollute the surrounding environment. They can be lethal in extreme doses, but that doesn’t happen often. Heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and mercury are extremely common, but can also present some health risks.
Common Household Items that Contain Heavy Metals
Many individuals have become concerned that their exposure to heavy metals through household objects is a health hazard. While it is not recommended to come into contact with large levels of some metals, the amount you find in items like makeup and cooking products are not generally concerning.
Some common items that contain low levels of metals include:
- Foods: Certain foods are grown with pesticides that contain heavy metals like arsenic, including rice, seaweed, and certain meats. Fish like tuna, halibut, and carp have been recorded to have high mercury levels.
- Water: Unfortunately, some water systems in the United States have become contaminated, either due to dumping, construction, pesticides in the atmosphere, etc., and on occasion, tests uncover arsenic or other chemicals in the water.
- Cosmetics: Makeup is a large industry that often includes heavy metals in recipes for powder, lipstick, and many other products. This is mostly a concern for those with a metal allergy, as they’ll often react right away to cosmetics that contain high levels of heavy metals.
- Cigarettes: Luckily, the smoking rate is the lowest it has been in many decades, but those who smoke cigarettes are exposing themselves to heavy metals that shouldn’t be in their bodies.
- Pots and pans: Cookware has been a hot topic, since many individuals no longer want to be exposed to aluminum, which is a common ingredient in most pots and pants, with some worrying that the metals leak into the food as it cooks.
- Old paint residue and construction materials: If you live in a home where the paint is peeling and the home was built before the 1970s, you may be exposed to some level of heavy metals in the atmosphere from the old paint chips.
All of these items are EPA approved because they contain relatively low levels of certain metals that won’t hurt you. While some individuals are worried about heavy metals “building up” in their system, research is still being conducted on how these everyday items affect your health.
Heavy metal poisoning is very rare in the United States, with less than 9,000 cases in 2021. It usually occurs in individuals who have been exposed to very high levels of heavy metals for a prolonged period of time. Those who work with metal materials or on construction sites that may not have been properly secured are most at risk, along with children, who are more sensitive to higher levels of metal in the atmosphere.
Testing for Heavy Metals
If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to high levels of heavy metals in your environment, or you want to ensure the safety of your property to avoid any liabilities, call SanAir Technologies Laboratory today, at 1-888-895-1177 to get the proper testing materials overnighted to you. We provide quick and accurate test results, and our experts are standing by to assist you in finding the right materials and analyses for your specific needs.