September 24, 2021

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Toxic metals seep into our bones, and modern technology can make it worse

A new study has warned that digital devices and green energy sources, including solar panels, could increase human health’s exposure to mineral pollution.

Jerusalem, Palestine – Toxic metals such as lead are essential components of technology that people around the world regularly use. However, harmful exposure to lead is not new. In fact, a new study shows that people have been taking these minerals into their bodies for thousands of years. Researchers in Israel discovered lead contamination in human bones 12,000 years ago. They warn that modern technology can make the problem worse.

A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has examined human remains in a cemetery in Italy that was in use until the 17th century. From the fragments of 130 people at the Rome site, researchers analyzed the chemical composition of each person’s bones. Their results show that the level of lead contamination in human bones accurately reflects historical rates of global lead production over the centuries.

The study authors add that the rate of human ingestion of lead increased as the world began to search for and produce more goods from the rare earth elements. This does not only apply to people with Most exposure to lead, but also the people who breathe it.

The long history with mankind

Nowadays, many people think that lead is something that can be found in paints and metal tubes. However, the first pioneering boom occurred 2,500 years ago with the production of coins. According to researchers, this period reached its peak during the Roman Empire before declining again in the Middle Ages. About 1000 years ago, lead production rose again in Germany as a result of silver mining. Then the expansion of America and the Industrial Revolution lifted production (and exposure) to new heights.

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These documents lead contamination Remarkably, human history indicates that many precious dynamics in lead production are reflected in human exposure. Therefore, lead contamination in humans follows exactly the rate of lead production,” explains Prof press release. “Simply put, the more lead we produce, the more likely people are to get it into their bodies. It has a very toxic effect.”

Green technology can make lead pollution worse than ever

Despite global regulations banning the use of many harmful toxins, the study authors say that even today’s “cleanest” products can increase human exposure to toxic metals. The team explicitly says: These electronic devicesBatteries, solar panels and even wind turbines are in great demand and can add to global mineral pollution. Lead exposure occurs in many ways, Earl says, through our diet. for air pollutionto pick up the soil.

The study’s lead author warns that “the close relationship between the rate of lead production and human lead concentrations in the past suggests that without proper regulation, we will continue to experience the adverse health effects of toxic metal pollution.”

Earl adds that even environmentally friendly technologies such as solar panels, which deteriorate over time, release their toxic elements In the air we breathe when it crumbles. This discovery could lead to future studies finding more lead in our bones than ever before.

“Every expanded use of metals must go hand in hand with industrial hygiene, ideally safe metal recycling, and increased environmental and toxicological considerations when selecting metals for industrial use.”

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The study appears in the journal Environmental science and technology.