Today we find heavy contamination of metals in our food through various routes like agricultural practices, industrial activities, food processing, catering and so on. When toxic metals get into human body directly or indirectly, the outcome is serious health hazards.
Some of the harmful metal contaminants found in our food and the health hazards they cause are-
1. Mercury – It enters our body when we consume a large amount of sea food especially swordfish. The accumulation of this metal in our body has toxic effect on respiratory system, immune system, renal system, central Nervous system and skin and eyes.
2.Lead – It enters our body through the consumption of vegetables that grow in contaminated soil. Lead contamination is basically the result of human activity with environment. Exposure to lead through contaminated food can cause headache, stomach cramps, and vomiting, premature births. Besides that it can adversely affect CNS and GI system (Central Nervous System and Gastro Intestinal System)
3.Tin – Tin cans used for packaging food items and beverages are the major cause of contamination of food and can lead to tin poisoning. So, it is better to avoid canned food. Tin contaminated food can cause liver damage, cancer, reproductive defects and can even effect GI system.
4.Arsenic – It enters human body through consumption of shellfish, contaminated ground water and vegetables sprayed with fertilizers. Its contamination may lead to cancer, dermatitis, malfunctioning of memory and reproductive system and cardio-vascular diseases. These are some of the metal contaminants found in the food which are extremely harmful for human health. Although these are not added intentionally to food but negatively alters the food quality. Metal contamination in food has become a major issue of concern for the public. Prolonged exposure to these heavy metals adversely affects human health and can be fatal. Regular testing of food stuff by using highly sensitive analytical techniques is very important to keep a check on toxicity of food. Even use of aluminium foil to pack hot food is a very common metal contaminant but has a major effect on brain tissues. It can lead to malfunctioning of brain activities. So, it is better to avoid such food which has higher chances of metal contamination. Break the age old tradition of wrapping your food in aluminium foil and go for more healthy and safe options like use of Oddy Uniwrap wrapping and baking paper for packing and even cooking of your food. Enjoy a healthy way of eating food.
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